This series aims to accomplish a lot in 10 minutes. You’ll learn four ways to get even more out of each episode. This is about looking under the hood at some of what makes this series tick, that you might not notice. And you’ll learn three more ways I can help!
Today’s episode is a bit of behind the scenes! I’m going to tell you the story about how this series started. it was when an ordinary research project lead to some pretty extraordinary conversations. I’ll tell you about how the episodes work, right, kind of what makes them go, what they’re based on. And because we have a lot of educators using the show in their classes, I thought I would tell you some ways to kind of unlock the episodes, kinda take a look underneath the hood so that you can get some more out of them.
This is 10 minutes to Better Patient Communication from Health Communication Partners. I’m Dr. Anne Marie Liebel and I want to say “hi” because we have a lot of new listeners! And I thought I would take this chance to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about me, because it’s been a long time since I’ve done that, right? And then tell you a little bit about the show, how it came to be, and how it works.
So it’s a 10-minute series, right, and its purpose is to give you tools and information that you can use to improve your patient communication or patient education, today. Right away. Next patient, next client, next project. So I take a communication or education question or issue that health professionals have raised with me, and then I’ll dig into it with some research. And then I’ll give you a strategy that you can use, in about 10 minutes.
So the story of the series starts several years ago now. I had recently finished my doctorate in language and literacy and education from the University of Pennsylvania. And I was a professor at another University, and I got put on a team that was doing a project on patient physician communication. And I did not know that that was a thing! I did not know that that was a subject of study, and I was kind of not sure why I was there. But once the Health Professionals that we were talking to found out what my degree was, and what my background is in, I started getting a lots of questions about patient education and health literacy! Like, how do you get through to people? I’m not sure my patient can read! How can I say things so that they’ll remember them? How do I help my students learn how to translate their education or knowledge to the bedside?
So these questions and problems are not surprising to anybody who’s listening, right? But then, there were questions about cultural and linguistic diversity, respectful uses of language, reflective practice, issues of access and inequality, and discrimination. But this made me kind of happy, too, because I was, I knew this stuff! This was really familiar to me. This is the core of what my work was as an educator and a researcher.
And I knew I was in the right spot when there was then this kind of third layer of conversation that we would get to. When we would start talking about, like having to do more with less. Feeling de- professionalized. Feeling overwhelmed by accountability requirements. Feeling separated from the reason that you got into the field to begin with. And I understood those issues from an Educator’s perspective. But I also knew that they were tied in pretty complicated ways to how we think about and how we do health communication and patient education and health literacy–[and these] have been what health professionals and I have been talking about, and still talk about now! Over and over. Clinicians, administrators, researchers, patient navigators, medical educators, of course public health professionals, academic medicine, of course students.
So I try to provide information and insight that can open up some possibilities you hadn’t seen before. Because half of the research–roughly half of the research that I refer to–is from the education sector and half of it’s from the health sector. So I promised I would look a little bit deeper into kinds of the nuts and bolts of the episodes so you can see how to use them, maybe differently in your classes.
So here’s four ways that you can get the most out of these episodes. Now the show is usually a monologue. Most of our episodes are just me talking, right? But I’m not sitting around thinking about, “oh, what should I talk about?” Like I said, I listen! And when I talk to people, I listen for the problems and the questions in the issues that relate to communication, that relate to language use, that really to literacy, that relate to Education. Then, I dig into them with research and give you something that you can do. Last year we started doing interviews. And the interviews, believe it or not, are kind of the same as the monologues, in that they’re based in the problems that help professionals face.
And I’ll let you in on a secret: I always ask the same four questions in any of the interviews. They might be worded a little bit differently, but these questions are because this is a series based on addressing problems. So I’ll ask the guest: what’s a problem that you’ve run into lately that’s related to health communication, or patient education or health literacy, right? What’s the problem? How have you been addressing it? What have you learned from addressing it in this way? And then, do you have anything to say to everybody who’s listening? The wording might come out a little bit differently but there’s always the same four questions. I’ve mentioned that I had–so that’s one way. Like there’s four questions, listen for those four questions in the interview.
I mentioned that there’s research in these episodes, specifically in the monologues, where I get a chance to dig into the research from the education sector and from the health sector. So I encourage you to check these out. Because some of the studies you might not be familiar with because they’re from the education sector. So that’s the second way.
The third way is that every episode has a transcript, and the transcripts have links. So when I cite a study, I link to it right there. And if I can, I’ll link to a full-text version. So that’s another way for you to use it in your classes. You could use the transcripts, and you could direct students to go to the links, and look at the research in some ways. You could have people look at different studies if you wanted to.
The fourth way has to do with the problems, right. The problems the show takes up are really problems that real people in the health sector face. I do this because I’m a reflective practitioner. So I invite you–I take an inquiry stance, it’s called an inquiry stance on practice. So I invite you to ask questions yourself about the episodes. Like, push back on these episodes! Question the show, don’t take it as a given! Interrogate it, get curious, ask questions! If you want to, ask questions of me! Find me on linked, find me on Twitter, go to HealthCommunicationPartners.com and click on contact.
If you like what you’re hearing, there are other ways I can help you and your organization. Three of them specifically.
One. I have digital products here on the site. Three digital products that you can download right now. One of them is called Addressing Implicit Bias, and it’s an audiobook bundle. Another audiobook bundle called Effective Patient Education. And an online course about medical metaphors! they’re all right here on the site.
A second way I can help is coaching. I coach individuals with leadership development communication, and even research coaching.
And the third: I’m a consultant! I work with small organizations where everyone wears multiple hats. Very large organizations, where there is deep benches and lots of talent. And in those cases I’m usually supplying some specialized knowledge related to research, internal capacity-building, or organizational change.
So if any of this sounds good to you: reach out to me! Again find me on linked, find me on Twitter, go to HealthCommunicationPartners.com and click on contact. Or write me! I’m Anne Marie a n n e m a r i e at h – cpartners.com. This has been 10 minutes to better patient communication from health communication Partners. I’m Dr. Anne Marie Liebel. Thanks for listening.