Today's Mighty Oak

Caitlin M. Marietti

It’s essential that we, as humans, are able to communicate with one another. That is, after all, why babies start to cry, isn’t it? It’s a form of communication and communication is the root of our civilization.
Not everyone is good at it. Some people don’t like it, some people don’t develop the skill. But those that do develop it have a distinct advantage. They can do more, get more, share more, learn more. Currently, I am employed in a hospital and I see the benefits of having good communication, good people skills every day. I see how successful doctors and nurses and aides alike earn the trust and approval of their patients, and I see how less successful people struggle in getting their patients to trust their words and their motives.
And that can make all the difference. If I am giving a patient information about how to care for themselves when they go home and I berate them and belittle them while explaining the proper way to get up from a seated position to standing with a walker, the chances that they’re take my instruction home and use it are slim. They will resent my words and my methods. If I take the time explain and I remain calm, pleasant and relatable, my patient is far more likely to respond positively and, thus, use what I have taught them at home.
For me, good people skills are an integral part of what I do now and, since I was recently accepted into a Nursing program, what I will do in the future. Patient education aside, being able to relate to, effectively sympathize with, listen to, and helping my patients be more comfortable with me as their caretaker is a primary goal of mine. Since patients are more than just their disease, it only seems logical to work with the person themselves. Thinking about how patients may perceive things can help me adjust and better help them.
This doesn’t just apply to my interactions with patients. Every part of patient care requires a team; from physicians, to the lab, to the aides, to the pharmacy. There are so many people to work with. Part of being a part of this team, too, requires being able to both give and receive feedback. Have you done something right? Have you a need to improve on something? It’s about growth.
It’s also about saying “thank you.” People don’t say that nearly enough. Being coachable also means being respectful of those around you. Learn from everyone and thank them every time. When I am done with a shift at my hospital, I will find those that I worked with and thank them for their help. It’s important to me and to them to know that a) they have helped me learn and grow and that b) I appreciate what they have done for me, whether it was big or small. This positive feedback pays for itself in mutual respect and the increased possibility of a repeat learning session.
Be what you say you are. There is nothing to be gained if I tell everyone how nice I am and then I bash people’s lifestyles or tastes or condition. Be that “thank you” every single time: say it and mean it. I try so hard to thank those who I maybe care a little less for working with. Just because we aren’t best friends outside of work does not mean that I cannot learn something from the, even it’s it what not to do. Be what you say you are and people will react more consistently as well.
I am applying for Activia Training US scholarship because the folks there are generous enough to have it. The link for this scholarship can be found here: I suggest you check it out.

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