Active Listening in Health Care Environment
According to Andrew (2004) active listening is a way of communication method that involves and expects the listeners to understand, interpret, and evaluate what is said and passed across them. The ability to listen actively can improve personal relationships through reducing conflicts, strengthening cooperation, and fostering understanding. In this regard, Stephen (1996) argues that, listening is one of the greatest skills you can have. He specifically points out that, how well we listen determines the impact on our work environment in terms of effectiveness and the type of quality relationships with others works. He clarifies that we listen to obtain information, understand, for enjoyment and learning purposes. Michael (1996) argues that, in health working environment interacting workers may fail to listen attentively since they may be distracted and taken away by thought to think about other things, for instance they may think about what t is going to be said next or how they are going to deal with a certain case especially in controversial issues.
In addition, active listening is a structured way of listening understanding the message and giving a feed back as respond in regard to what the speaker is addressing. One can become active good listener by leaving out his or her own set of reference, pre judgment and avoiding other internal mental activities which carry their mind awa from the speaker. Michael (1996) argues that, therapeutic Listening is a professional modality utilized by health occupational therapy practitioners to enhance performance and improve functional outcomes clinical patient in hospitals. Just as use of adaptive environment improves patient to mood and reduces stress, Therapeutic Listening helps therapeutic communication to take place as a way of showing empathy and reduction of stress and increasing of understanding in both the caregiver and those being attended to. In the health setting, the practices of therapeutic listening help the nurses and doctors who are exposed to high stress environments, to learn on how to attend, assess patients efficiently and empathically, thus overcoming the overwhelming challenges encountered by the healthcare easily.
According to Andrew (2004) he argues that, In the world of healthcare, professional must be sensitive in matters concerning listening. They should understand that therapeutic listening expresses care, interest, and respect to patient in many ways. Active listening may be expressed through body language, Sitting or even attending the patient in an open and forward leaning posture with frequent eye contacts, sending a message of interest and attentiveness. Stephen, R. (1996) Specifically points out that, Careful observation and conversational promptts, draws out the quiet or withdrawn patient, leading the doctor or nurse to understand the underlying causes of the patient’s discomfort of patient. He further argues that, engagement in interrogations invites the patient to lower his or her guard by responding attentively.
In reference to Michael (1996) listening is very vital since it helps healthcare workers to give correct advice to patients such that they recognize and understand on how to practice health standards. For example listening to patient makes the health work understand how to attend the client better .on the same note, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. By becoming a better listener, productivity improves as well as the ability to convince, persuade, negotiate and influence. As a result the health worker avoids conflict and misunderstandings in the working environment hence successful attendance of patients and less tress workplace.In conclusion, active listening skill is essential for health worker since it helps them understand the need of patients better.
The skill should encourage to be learned by health work professionals since it allows them to solve patients’ problems especially controversial issues needing special attendance. Also engaging patients in interrogation and listening to them carefully makes them feel that they are cared for.