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Why does being listened to feel so good?




So often we feel we can’t help a patient. We know they look distressed in some way BUT this is where listening comes in. IT REALLY HELPS! Both the patient and our ability to be the classy, effective professional we strive to be. With so many high-tech features of acute hospital care, it can be easy to lose sight of just how therapeutic it is for patients to be fully listened to. They don’t necessarily need answers, action or problem-solving – the process of being heard is highly validating and trust-building and can often lead to patients working things out for themselves.



Q1. Which people make you feel really well listened to? Whatis it about the way they listen that is so helpful?


What patients get from being listened to

1.  They feel understood

2.  They feel cared about and accepted

3.  It helps to make sense of things that are happening or have happened to them

4.  It connects them with someone else when they’re probably feeling very isolated and perhaps abandoned because they’re in hospital

5.  It helps patients trust staff so that they can:

a. tell you about what’s going on for them

b. learn from you

c. participate in care planning

6.  It helps them release tension in a safe way



Q2. Think of a time when you’ve felt very vulnerable – like being at the dentist or a job interview or a bad time at work. What has another person said which has helped you feel more secure? Did they say anything that made you feel worse?


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