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Reflections

Vol. 18 No. 1 (2020)

Smize: A Mid-Pandemic Guide to Non-Verbal Communication

Submitted
August 20, 2020
Published
2020-08-31

Abstract

Communication, whether it be verbal or non-verbal, is a key element in establishing trust and comfort in a physician-patient relationship. In the time of COVID-19, we have seen that non-verbal communication, which is conveyed through facial expression, gestures, and other signs that a person is engaged in the conversation, is lost, largely due to the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It has become important during these times to find ways to surmount this obstacle to keep providing professional and meaningful care to our patients. This article will discuss the definition and the importance of non-verbal communication in physician-patient care, as well as why effective communication is crucial to good patient outcomes. Finally, this article will present several strategies to overcome the communication obstacles we are currently facing, in order to continue offering elevated levels of care in this time when communication is most needed.

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