Author Says Patients and Doctors Need Work On Communications Skills
Florida author Kay Day says both patients and doctors need to learn how to talk to one another. Doing so increases chances for success in both healing and cost-savings.
Jacksonville, FL (PRWEB) August 11, 2005
As Florida author Kay Day wrote the book Killing Earl (Ocean Publishing, June, 2005), she realized that communication between patient and physician can be a challenge for both. She learned that lack of communications can be a barrier to a timely diagnosis and can also increase treatment costs.
ÂOur daughter Becky was 12 years old,Â says Day. ÂNo one knew what was wrong with her. I believe it took longer to figure it out and the costs were higher because of communications.Â
The author watched her daughter try to talk to the doctor, and realized that both of them had a problem. ÂThe doctor would fire questions at her and Becky would just stumble over the answers,Â said Day. ÂWhen IÂd pick up her records later, IÂd see information that hadnÂt been fully explained. Sometimes IÂd realize the test sheÂd just undergone didnÂt help.Â
Day says the Internet was a valuable tool. ÂA pre-teen isnÂt exactly equipped to deal with all aspects of testing, imaging, and examinationsÂdecisions about what to agree to,Â she says. ÂSo a parent or guardian has to be informed.Â
ÂYouÂd be amazed at what you learn when you are politely assertive and ask questions,Â says the author. ÂAnd clear information can often make the patient more comfortable. I learned to ask questions of every member of the healthcare team. I learned to speak to the doctors and nurses with an information-based approach. Just as important is talking to your pharmacist--this professional is often overlooked by the patient as a resource. I learned itÂs okay to ask about risks from medications. Those are a few reasons our daughter was cured.Â
Day says that for several years, groups such as the American College of Physicians have emphasized talking to patients and improving skills to that end. ÂI donÂt think they can deliver that message enough,Â she says, Âregardless of the patientÂs age.Â
Day wrote Killing Earl because her daughter asked her to. ÂEarlÂ was the name Becky used to refer to her pain. ÂI hope nobody has to deal with an Earl,Â Becky says.
Day is on a Âten city plusÂ book tour for her new memoir. She is blogging the tour on the Net at Bookbeat (http://bookbeat. blogspot. com (http://bookbeat. blogspot. com)). She has visited South Carolina, with early stops at both independent and chain stores in Miami, Fernandina Beach, and Savannah. Pre-launch events were held in her home city, Jacksonville, Florida. The author will visit a number of additional cities in fall and winter, including a featured author spot at the Florida Council of Teachers of English conference in Orlando. The book's introduction is written by one of America's most distinguished physicians, John V. Campo, M. D.
ÂOne message IÂm offering is aimed at the physician,Â Day explains. ÂDoctors need to listen better.Â She adds, ÂAnd patients need to be informed.Â Patients may visit DayÂs Net site, kayday. com, for information and tips.