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How to communicate with the patients who cannot speak?

Some patients are unable to speak and explain their problems to the nurse aides. They have to make a grunting or some other kind of noise to indicate something. CNAs have to take special care in communicating with such patients. They must remain calm and try to comprehend the patient’s actions. You must take extra care while taking any step as the person can get offended, if you respond exasperated or speak on high pitch.

Things to Remember while Dealing with the Patients Having Issues with Speech

1. Knock the Door

Always knock the door before entering the patient’s room. After entering the patient’s room, address the patient by his name, greet him politely with a smile and be respectful towards him. You must always enter the room from the front door.

2. Keep Communication Simple

Try to communicate with the patient in small, simple and understandable sentences, so that he may comprehend and try to express what he thinks or feels. This will also make him more familiar to you.

3. Use Direct and Simple Questions

Frame simple questions for the patients, like- Mr. Smith, are you feeling well? Mrs. Elena, would you like to have some tea or coffee? Always try to present options rather than simply asking the questions. This won’t confuse or force them to think what they must answer. You can ask the patient to blink eyes in response to a question. Patients can blink the eye for a ‘yes’ or for a ‘no’.

4. Wait for an Answer

Patient may take time to answer your question, so you have to be very tolerant with them. Allow them to take as much time as they require.

5. Make Use of Tools for Communication

There are certain tools available in the market such as flash cards, scrabble tiles, pen and paper, etc. You must utilize these tools if the patient is comfortable using them.


6. Show a Positive Response

Always be positive while communicating with the patient. Tilting your head in up-down assertive movement show the patient that you are able to understand what he is trying to explain.

7. Encourage the Patients

Always encourage the patients to try to explain what he feels. Explain him how he can make use of tools to give details about the things.

8. Maintain a Positive Attitude

Always keep a smile on your face whenever you interact with the patient. While responding to a patient, never make him feel that he is a burden. Always be relaxed and frank to him.

9. Never Leave the Room Without Informing the Patient

Always inform the patient before leaving the room. If you have to leave for some work, make patient understand the importance of work and then leave. Make him understand that you will be back as soon as possible. Take special care that the things he requires are within his reach.

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