There are certain steps that you can take in order to carry out the task of communicating with patients with speaking problems more effectively. This can sometimes be the most challenging part of a CNAs job as oral communication is the best way for the patient to tell how they are feeling and also to convey requests that they may have. This particular aspect of a CNAs job requires a lot of patience and sensitivity in order to carry this task more effectively. Depending on the state of your patient’s speaking faculty, you will have an easier or harder job of doing this.
The first thing that you have to do is to knock on the resident’s door and to introduce yourself and explain what your purpose is in visiting their room. Greet them by their name and wish them well. After that, try to communicate with your patient as much as you can and keep your sentences as short as you can and to the point. Make the words more understandable by keeping away from too many technical terms and try to keep it on more familiar wording. This will help them understand you much easier and they will also be able to answer you more clearly.
Ask those using simple questions which are also direct. Such question can be like, “Are you hungry?” or “Do you want to sleep?” in order to make the resident understand and grasp what you are saying much easier. You may need to wait patiently in order for the patient to respond and try to grasp what they are saying. It will require a lot of patience to do this since the patient is having difficulties communicating. You can make use of certain signals or body actions in order to indicate a simple yes or no answer to what you are saying.
Aside from that, you can also make use of writing in order to communicate with your patient or you can also make use of cards or scrabble tiles in order for them to convey what they wish to say. You can also teach them how to point out things that they want in order for you to understand them better. You can also make use of pictures in order to help you understand what the resident is trying to say. Bring any of these items in order to help them communicate.
Lastly, you will have to encourage them to communicate with you by providing them with ample time to respond and by letting them know that you are being attentive to what they are trying to say. Never show your patient that you are getting mad or impatient due to the slowness of their response. This will discourage them from ever trying to communicate with you and may create some tension in your relationship as their CNA. When you are about to leave, let the resident know that clearly and then make sure that everything that they need is within their reach.