Monday, June 10, 2013

Verbal first aid

Reading an excellent book at the mo called verbal first aid for kids.

I cant believe I have been practising as a paramedic for 16 years and I have only just cottoned onto how  what we say to a patient (or dont say) can have such an impact on their recovery process.

Ive just read a book called The worst is over by Judith Acosta who is  trained psychotherapist, hynortherapist and trauma counsellor. She emphasises how the language we use directly influences the recovery process for children. They look to adults for emotional cues. If they injury themselves and mother is a blubbering mess they naturally think the worst. If on the other hand mum acknowledges but downplays the event and remidns the child they are a quick healer then its no big deal. And guess what, the kids actually does heal up faster!

The same applies to adults. We go to routine chest pains which is no big deal for us as paramedics, but for the patient they probably think they are about to die! While we run off an ecg and chat to our collegue about it they are waiting with baited breath on whether  we think they are going to live or not....and we probably dont even reassure them they will!

I have started using proactive and positive language in my patient care and wow what a difference. Patients are definately less anxious. So check out the book and see for yourself how what you say can be as important as the medicines you administer.

You can read more about the book and author here

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