I recently started working at a Cancer center in Bangalore and I am not fluent in Kannada (the local language). This poses a challenge when I am communicating with my patients. In the OPD my colleagues help me out but during the morning rounds there is a problem as most of the nurses (being Malyali), don’t understand Kannada very well either.
Although I have always used “smile language” with my patients in the past but over the last few days I seem to be using it more frequently and effectively. Every morning I greet the patients with a smile and get a lot of information about their condition without speaking a word. Rest of the conversation takes place in ‘sign’ language (another universal language) and broken Kannada. Patients also respond in the same language and a patient’s smile can answer many questions without a word being spoken.
This approach not only provides key information about the patient’s condition but also helps in making a rapport with the patient and is an integral part of the doctor-patient relationship.
Everyone (specially doctors) should follow this universal language, when interacting with people!! 🙂 🙂