Individuals seek medical care because they fear for their health – they believe they have a medical problem or want to avoid future problems. The reasons that turn individuals into patients and brings then into a doctor’s office are not the only considerations that impacts the way they experience and evaluate their visit to the doctor and the hospital where they receive care.
Patients expect their medical needs to be met, but they want to be treated with dignity and respect while they are receiving care. This increasing desire for an empathetic doctors and a positive personal experience put great demands on the interpersonal skills of physicians. Physicians, more than most, are caring, compassionate individuals. Yet, in survey after survey, patients rate physicians poorly in terms of these skills.
Physicians are among the most highly and broadly trained professionals in our society. In addition, they have had to interact with people in the most trying situations imaginable. They use interpersonal skills every day to help patients cope with pain, fear and loss; and to manage their own personal challenges including difficult patients, poor outcomes and even death. They would not have survived if they didn’t have interpersonal skills. Why then are so many doctors rated low in terms of interpersonal skills?
When people are in pain or afraid they often need their concerns addressed in order to appreciate treatment, even when the treatment meets or exceeds their physical needs. Family members also require sensitive treatment. More and more patients are treated by medical teams and not just a single physician. Members of the team experience stress and anxiety as they help patients through life and death situations. This can cause team members to have less patience and tolerance for each other’s needs, and to be less forgiving of mistakes or perceived slights. Under this pressure the strongest of interpersonal skills will occasionally slip and need to be reinforced.
The Javelin interpersonal skills training approach allows physicians to see themselves as they are seen by others. Our approach allows physicians to practice the use of interpersonal skills in a variety of situations and to then receive feedback on how they managed the interpersonal aspect of their interactions. This feedback is specific, objective and based on observed behaviors, not impressions or opinions. The feedback is presented in a manner that provides clear insights as to how to improve their interpersonal skills as they relate to their interactions with patients, family members, caregivers and other members of the medical team.
Our approach combines proven adult learning techniques with a propriety, user-friendly technology platform that makes improving interpersonal skills faster, more effective, easier and more likely to be applied in a clinical setting, not just the training setting.
The process is simple. The physician views a video simulations and then creates video responses to questions posed about the simulation. Some responses critique the actions of others, while some ask the physician to respond directly as if he or she were talking to the patient in the video simulation. Responses are submitted electronically and scored by professional assessors on Javelin’s team. Then feedback reports are posted for the physician to review. Physicians can practice using their feedback on the Javelin platform anytime that is convenient for them. Everything we do is designed to respect the physician’s time and convenience.
Are you ready for an effective interpersonal skills training program that work, is fast and treats your team with dignity and respect? Contact us.