Communication skills for staff wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected how both patients and clinicians experience face-to-face consultations. Patients are fearful that they may be seriously ill or become seriously ill as a result of the virus and clinicians are fearful that they may be infected with the virus by their patients. These fears are increased by the need for clinicians to wear PPE which can make them appear intimidating and disguises their non-verbal communication.
In these circumstances, core communication skills, particularly those required to establish and maintain a supportive therapeutic relationship are particularly important. And these skills need to be adapted to circumstances where opportunities to use touch for example, are limited or prohibited. Remember it is both what we say and how we say it that will be remembered.