It is a rare instance where a service seeker becomes a part of the service providing team. The same thing happened while yours truly was seeking services from Tripura Medical College (TMC),Hapania, Tripura, India, as quite a few glaring voids came to the fore and therefore, yours truly voluntarily agreed to offer his training and consulting services, free of cost, to the institution, in the larger interest of the society and the state of Tripura, which also happens to be the mother land and first home of yours truly.
The first seminar targeted to the paramedical staff took place on the 14th of August 2015 from 2.30 PM to 3.00 PM. The august audience was delivered a simple extempore presentation on the importance of soft skills in the healthcare sectors, by providing some first hand experiences observed by the trainer while seeking services in the hospital, as well his experiences in different parts of India and rest of the world. His impromptu presentation devoid of any power point was predominantly on the basis of his regional, national and international training and consulting experiences in different verticals, including that of the healthcare sector. The participation was great especially with lot many queries being posed by the paramedical professionals, pertaining to soft skills vis-a-vis their profession. As assured by the management this is just the first step in a series of such seminars and workshops for paramedical, medical and administrative staff of the esteemed organization. Yours truly thanks the management of the organization, including the chairman of TMC, IAS (Retd.) Banamali Sinha, Dr. Prabir Kumar Saha, Medical Superintendent, the Matron of the hospital, for the wonderful opportunity. One of the article referred in the seminar is pasted below. The overall seminar hovered around the importance of soft skills that would enable in creating end user delight through different facets of soft skills.
Role of soft skills have become indispensable in the hospitality industry in the enhancement of service delivery. Empathy is critical attribute for the effective handling of patients & attendants as they are at higher stress level.
22 December 2014, 7:50 AM IST
Role of soft skills have become indispensable in the hospitality industry in the enhancement of service delivery. Empathy is critical attribute for the effective handling of patients & attendants as they are at higher stress level. In the Soft skill communication skills both verbal and non-verbal are essential However role of non -verbal skill is even more important as body language, dress code help in forming impression even before any verbal communication is started. This is important for all the cadre of staff including housekeeping, nursing, doctors, paramedical and office staff. Soft skills are required Pan hospital. Patient must be counselled and attended with soft skills by each department like Front office, Admission Desk & Guest Relations, IPD, Nursing, Medical Services and marketing for excellent patient care.
Counselling of patients with soft skills
A positive body language (direct eye contact, warm smile, straight back, open arms, forward leaning posture) radiates strength and security from the counsellor to the patient. A friendly, resonant voice with pitch modulation, along with non-verbal gestures completes the picture of confidence.
Effective counsellors must be accessible. They feel more comfortable with normal-looking, normal- behaving health care professional from a similar cultural background.
An open-door policy is preferable, in which an OPD client or indoor patient can meet the educator any time to discuss his or her problems and concerns. Authenticity is a soft skill, which means genuineness, trustfulness, honesty.
The counsellor-patient relationship is no exception. Mutual respect is essential if this relationship is to be effective. There is little point in spending energy on counselling a patient if he does not respect or appreciate the educator, because of age, gender, socioeconomic status or ethnicity.
Similarly, the counsellor, through his or her body language, should convey respect for the patient. Behaviour should neither be arrogant, nor should it be deferential.
Age-specific and gender-specific body language should be used to convey a sense of professionalism, tempered with caring for the diabetic.
Empathy is a feeling of concern, of feeling the same way as a patient does. It is a soft skill which implies that one can treat the patient as oneself. Empathy is different from sympathy, which is feeling of compassion, of pity, of looking down upon another person. To sympathize means establishing an unequal relationship, while empathizing means a collaboration between equals.
The simplest soft skill needed for effective counselling is straightforward simplicity. Whatever is asked, stated or explained should be done in a simple, straightforward and short manner. The patient should feel that the educators are working in parallel with each other. Also, the educator should come across as a simple person, without any hidden motive or agenda apart from helping the patient achieve good quality of life. The patient should feel relaxed, and should be encouraged to communicate his or her concerns to the counsellor. Simple and specific solutions to these concerns should then be presented.
Dr. Sandeep Chatrath, CEO, Dharamshila Hospital And Research Centre
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