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The Story Of Mr. Gee: Understanding Empathy And Active Listening

2121 words - 9 pages

It is important not only as a health care provider, but as a person in general that we refrain from passing judgement while listening to others and instead show understanding and compassion. Showing a patient you care puts them at ease, making them comfortable to disclose personal information.
This story was filled with many memorable points beginning to end, but if I had to pick one thing that really stuck with me it would be when Mr. Gee revealed “I keep the lights on while I am in bed because the ghosts come out in the dark. I keep the lights on to keep them away, so I do not sleep.” I was so surprised to learn that while many doctors believed Mr. Gee’s condition was a complicated ...view middle of the document...

Gee was apparent and the counselor’s active listening techniques continued to be displayed through the entire story. When the interview began and Mr. Gee would not reveal any information because he felt ashamed, the counselor didn’t push him out of his comfort zone and request more information, nor did he make it awkward by letting the silence overpower the room, he simply redirected the conversation in a way he deemed fit. As an active listener, the counselor understood that in order to obtain information Mr. Gee would have to feel comfortable and not judged. ACTIVE LISTENING ARTICLE? The fact that the counselor didn’t say something like “spit it out,” but rather suggested an alternate approach to the situation shows how willing he is to listen to what the Mr. Gee has to say.
Another instance that illustrated the counselor’s active listening skills was when Mr. Gee revealed he saw ghosts. Instead of the counselor quickly responding with an inappropriate comment he probed for more information by asking “And what is that like for you, seeing your father as a ghost? Is it frightening or pleasant or - what?” It is very easy for one to respond with the first thing that comes to mind, which is usually inappropriate, when they are given information that is not something that seems normal to them, but the counselor did not do that. He kept going with the interview, probing for further answers, as he knows is key to make the patient feel comfortable so that they fully open up. If Mr. Gee felt judged or like the counselor didn’t care about what he has to say he would have just stopped, but Mr. Gee didn’t, indicating a sense of security. The counselor allowed Mr. Gee the opportunity to visualize his father’s ghost which brought him great comfort.
The connections made in this story are quite significant and meaningful to me because they show just how important it is to listen to patients. Not just healthcare providers, but people in their everyday life don’t allow other people to speak. We are constantly interrupting others or thinking about various things as we listen to someone talk, depriving them of our full attention. The consultant in this story has mastered the skills of active listening, being completely focused on Mr. Gee the entire time. He did not interrupt, only proposed questions at appropriate times, and had great patience. Mr. Gee had many moments of silence and pauses where the consultant could have got annoyed and began talking, but he didn’t. If he had not waited and given the patient time to put his thoughts together, he may have not gotten the response that lead to the identification of the cause of Mr. Gee’s fatigue. An essential part of providing quality patient care requires listening to the patient, as they are the expert on their life. What is bizarre to one person may be normal for another.
This medical consultant in this story resembles the type of empathetic, active listener I would like to become. He had a patient admit to...

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