Student and Patient Communication
So I had a student start a couple weeks ago. You may recall I wanted to have a "student summit" this summer, but unfortunately it got bogged down in some administrative red tape. Needless to say it's been tentatively scheduled for this fall after my student's rotation is done.
Anyway, my student has been doing well. This is his third clinical of five, and will last for eight weeks. So he's picked up the documentation pretty quickly and his treatment planning is decent. The problem is, and I know it's only been a week-and-a-half, but I'm having trouble getting an idea of what his personality is like. He told me that he has only worked in outpatient orthopedics before so his inpatient experience has been limited. So I'm not sure if he is just nervous or what, but he seems a little uneasy with inpatients -- almost awkwardly so.
I've tried to offer advice on how to talk to patients with more difficult diagnoses, especially when it comes to patients with altered mental statuses (Alzheimer's, dementia etc.) for example, but it doesn't seem to be getting through.
I'm not saying everyone should talk and act like me (we can't all be perfect -- ha ha), but I think there's a way to talk to members of the geriatric population that's different from other, younger populations. Maybe it just takes more practice?
Any thoughts? Any ideas on how to calm a student's nerves to let him better communicate with patients?