Published on October 12th, 2012 | by Carole Zangari2
5 PrAACtical Resources For Better Communication Experiences with HealthCare Providers
Being sick is no fun, but when you can’t communicate effectively with your healthcare provider, it can be disastrous. Here are some resources that SLPs can use to help promote effective communication and prevent adverse affects.
- Accommodations Cards: One of the simplest things we can do to help healthcare providers understand the needs of a person who uses AAC, is to give some basic information on an accommodations card. Health Bridges is a project of the Western Pennsylvania Initiative to support individuals who have hearing and vision loss. Their website includes a section that allows you to create quick accommodations cards for this population and serve as a good example for ones that you can make on your own. Accommodations cards don’t solve all the problems, but they’re a quick and easy way to make a start.
- Patient-Provider Communication Website: Amazing array of information and resources from around the world. Take some time to explore this meaty site.
- The Hospital Communication Book by The Clear Communication People is a set of pre-made materials to facilitate communication in the hospital. It is a free download that has wide applicability. Also, the VidaTak Communication Boards for Healthcare Communication: EZ Boards developed after 3 years of research and is available in 20 languages.
- Supporting People Who Will be Temporarily Unable to Speak: Article with very prAACtical information for enabling better communication by people in the ICU who are unable to speak due to intubation or for other reasons. We love the proactive approach to this in planning with the patient in advance to prepare for an alternate means of communication at that time. There is also a related PowerPoint presentation on this topic.
- On-the-Spot Tool Kit for Health Care Settings: This kit was developed for professionals who work in hospitals, nursing facilities, clinics, home health, and other medical settings. The purpose is to provide practitioners with the actual tools they can use to help patients communicate with nurses, aides, physicians, and others. It includes an adapted call bell, a Pocket Talker assisted listening device, Eye Link alphabet board, many other communication boards, a magnification sheet, and other tools that can be put into service at a moment’s notice. If you work in a healthcare setting, this is something to put into the next budget.