Throughout this month, our Wednesday Check ins focused on communication. We covered a lot— how to get the most out of routine medical appointments through effective communication with our doctors, keeping track of our health information, and communicating effectively about COPD with family, friends, and strangers.
We've had some lively discussions with a great exchange of stories and information! Now, let's step back and take a look at what we've learned. How are you doing? Do you think your communication will be more effective now than it had been before? Here's a brief review of our four blog posts.
Which patient are you?
Check in - Your Routine Doctor’s Office Appointment—Which Patient are You? (copdfoundation.org)
We began this month by listening in on two routine office visit scenarios with fictional COPD patients, Darlene and Jack. We found that Jack had a more productive office visit, providing more information to the doctor, allowing more time for a meaningful discussion and the development of an effective treatment plan. We learned that Jack does this by keeping track of his health information related to his COPD.
Keeping track of health information
Check in - Are You Keeping Track? (copdfoundation.org)
Taking just a few minutes each day to keep track of COPD symptoms, oxygen saturations, and medications is easy to do. It can help us come well-prepared to routine appointments with our health care providers. Keeping track of our health information and preparing for visits with our doctors can be done in two different ways: By 1.) keeping a medical notebook on paper, or 2.) using the COPD Pocket Consultant Guide (PCG) app.
Communicating with family and friends
Check in - Communicating with Family and Friends (copdfoundation.org)
Getting others to understand what we are trying to say is not always easy. We’ve all had frustrating conversations when it seemed that no matter how hard we tried, we could not get the other person to understand us! Good communication involves not only choosing the right words. Our gestures, tone of voice, the look on our faces, and even silences are also part of our message. Expressing yourself to your caregiver can be especially challenging. We looked at some tips for better communication.
Communicating effectively with strangers
Check in - Communicating with Strangers (copdfoundation.org)
As a person with COPD, how do you communicate with strangers who may or may not know about your health issue? Do you answer their questions? Do you start a conversation? Do you tend to educate strangers about COPD?
Communicating effectively can certainly be a challenge. We hope we’ve helped you add to your COPD management toolbox through these blog posts. What do you think? Have you used, or can you use, any of the suggestions or tips we talked about this month? Making just one change with a goal of improving communication could make a big difference in your life with COPD!
Let's talk! I look forward to hearing from you!
Here is an additional resource: The COPD Health Buddy | PRAXIS (copdfoundation.org)