Communicating With Patients In Pain

  • Medical Assistant
  • March 11, 2024
  • 2 min read
A older patient is looking at her doctor who is trying to help her remain calm and composed.

Think about a time when you were in extremely bad pain, was it difficult to talk? Did you talk in short sentences in between bouts of pain, breathing becoming difficult? Heart beating quickly? You know that communication can quickly break down and misunderstandings and frustrations will be high. Here are some steps which may help communicating with a patient in pain.

Listen: Listening is an important part of communication regardless if there is pain involved or not. Watch with your eyes and hear with your ears so that you catch those non-verbal cues as well as the spoken words which may you help understand their message better.

Don’t fake listen: If you ask for someone to talk to you, be ready to listen, don’t pretend. Nothing is more frustrating to someone when we fake listen, especially when pain is involved.

Understand that fear is a factor: Pain brings out fear. Fear of the unknown and fear of the pain they are experiencing. Patients in pain are almost always afraid about what type of treatment they are about to endure. Patients may also be fearful of ridicule when in pain and be hesitant to talk.

Believe the pain level: Pain is symptomatic, which means it is what it is. You cannot feel their pain, so believe them, it’s their pain. When patients are believed they will often communicate better and more freely.

Compassion: Put aside your own cares and concerns and listen with an open mind and heart. Compassion actually helps to heal and opens avenues of communication.

Putting these steps into practice will help us communicate better with those in pain and may even reduce the amount of pain someone is experiencing.
If you are ready to start a new career as a Medical Assistant, call Northwest Career College today at 702-254-7577 and speak to one of our admissions counselors.

Corey Del Pino
Dean Of Clinical Programs

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Corey Del Pino attended Northern Arizona University after high school and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with a Chemistry Minor in 2012. After attending Mohave Community College and earning her Medical…Read Full Bio