Career advice

Consistent communication: why tone and language are more important than you might think

The way we communicate with our patients is powerful and can transform their perception of care

The way we communicate with our patients is powerful and can transform their perception of care

This summer I had some unexplained symptoms that could have had a cancerous cause.

During my diagnostic scan, I was chatting away to the sonographer, who knew I had medical knowledge, when halfway through her tone shifted noticeably – from being open and breezy, her whole manner became visibly closed, overly professional and clinical.

Change in tone filled me with dread

She finished by saying ‘there’s nothing much to worry about’ and instructed me to contact my GP.

I knew she had found something, I just didn’t know what. Nothing much to worry about? Says who? All rational thought

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