We’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months hardwiring AIDET with staff. AIDET stands for Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation and Thank You and it is a communication tool to help decrease patient anxiety and increase patient compliance and most importantly improve patient outcomes.
Most of the staff at GVMH know Jeremy Simmons in Imaging Services. Jeremy has great customer service skills and he sets a great example for each of us in his interactions with patients every day. Jeremy uses AIDET principles in his communication with patients on a daily basis and he understands the value.
Recently Jeremy explained AIDET to a group of staff and this is what he said:
I want to convey AIDET to everyone, the way I see it, in a compassionate framework. We understand AIDET as an acronym and how it works. But I would like us to take a look at “the why”. Not the “why it works”, but “the why” as a supporting purpose or if you will the heart that people see. Understanding the “why” of how we treat people is of great import.
The reason is, properly motivated and significantly invested people can achieve the greatest things. As I have heard it expressed: when the why is big enough the how does not matter. Also, methods change but principles endure.
Our mission is to make a positive difference in the health and wellness of each life we touch. AIDET is the “how” we do it, it’s a principle based on communication. That’s the training aspect.
But lets look at the “why” because the “why” is what our patients feel. Some of the people we care for are staring death in the face. Others are losing the life they know, they may have MS, a recent joint replacement, loss of employment or a whole host of other things.
We meet people who are in the grips of great loss, or whose families are. Materially, emotionally, or just loss of control and they are experiencing all the underlying emotions associated with that. That’s at the extreme, but in every degree across the spectrum, anxiety is the elephant in the room.
So that’s what has formed my “why”. I want to be a part of a team that assists people with these realities. With that in perspective any action taken to reduce anxiety, return control to the patient, or that lets them know we not only understand, but that we care is a great positive.
Getting wheelchairs, warm blankets, walking to the car, escorting instead of pointing, going out of our way to make their experience easier and smoother. Always watching, asking, helping. Everyone actively looking for ways to help. When we slow down, listen more, communicate effectively and show compassion, we make a difference.
That’s my “why”.
Jeremy Simmons RT(R)(CT)