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Upon completion of the chapter and exercises, the student pharmacist will be able to

  1. Articulate the importance of communication skills.

  2. Explain the process of communication including the types of messages (verbal or nonverbal), barriers, and the significance of participants' backgrounds.

  3. Demonstrate appropriate listening behaviors and responses.

  4. Conduct an efficient, effective patient interview and patient education session.

  5. Use assertiveness to deal with difficult situations.

  6. Explain the dimensions of nonverbal communication.

  7. Explain common types of presentations for pharmacists.

  8. Properly design presentation visual aids.

  9. Identify key information needed when preparing a presentation.

  10. Practice effective presentation techniques.

  11. Describe the rationale for pharmacists to become effective writers.

  12. Cite examples of writing responsibilities within the profession of pharmacy.

  13. Develop strategies for improving your writing.

Discussion Points: Communication

Since you were approached by the patient's wife with her request to cease antibiotic therapy, you decide you need to speak with her in more detail about the situation and her feelings. Following appropriate guidelines for privacy, you take her into a small, unoccupied waiting room to have your conversation. Before you begin, you think about how you would try to structure and guide the conversation you have with her. Specifically, you think of how you would use the techniques presented in this chapter in your conversation with her. As you think about these things, answer the following questions:

  • Considering the education background of your audience, will your responses consist of high-level medical terminology or layman's terms?
  • Which types of responses to her concerns will be most effective? Which would not work as well?
  • How will you use empathy in your responses?
  • Think of responses to the patient's wife who says:

"I can't believe that my husband would want to live this way! These antibiotics are not necessary!"

"Why can't you just tell them not to give the antibiotics?"

"Would you want to live this way?"

"Don't you think this is the right thing to do?"

After your conversation, you must document what you have learned. Where and how will you do this?

While you are speaking with the patient's wife, it comes to mind that you have to present a patient's case at the weekly pharmacy student meeting with your preceptor, the attending pharmacist. You would like to discuss the case at the meeting. You know you would have to present a brief description of the patient's medical history. What format would you use for the presentation? How much time are you allotted for the presentation? How will you structure your materials (eg, handouts, slides etc.)? If handouts are used, how many should be prepared for distribution? Has the preceptor outlined any special requirements or instructions for how this presentation should be delivered? Once your presentation is complete, do you have enough time to practice and fine tune?

Many people assume that when ...

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