In Today’s episode, Saul Ebema and Joe Newton talk remotely via zoom with Sheila Aird in Chicago. Sheila is the Clinical Liaison for hospice at University of Chicago Medicine. In this episode, she shares what 18 years of nursing has taught her and part of that is the importance of active listening.
End-of-life encompasses many aspects of care: pain and symptom management, culturally sensitive practices, assisting patients and their families through the death and dying process, and ethical decision making. Developing active listening and effective communication skills can enhance the hospice staff-patient trust relationship and create a healing environment.
Patients who are terminally ill and dying need to be heard and know they are not alone. It is essential to create an environment in which the person feels free to explore their concerns and openly express their feelings without feeling rejected or judged. Active listening involves many skills and components such as; relaxed yet engaged body posture, eye contact, reassuring touch, listening beyond or beneath the literal words said by a person to the deeper emotions, meaning, and needs.