Pediatricians are the most important and most valuable part of the resources of primary health care providers for children. At the same time, it is the active status position of the doctor, his behavioral attitudes, and real actions that determine the quality of the provided medical services. This is important for ensuring the functioning of the healthcare system in the new conditions of healthcare development. Patients have become not just an object of medical supervision but are direct participants in the treatment process.
In the framework of pediatric practice, the parents of a small patient will also join here. Patients demand information, time, and friendliness, and the lack of communication skills of healthcare professionals is no longer acceptable. For a successful professional activity, a doctor’s knowledge about the course of the disease, and possession of practical skills and abilities in the diagnosis and treatment might not be sufficient. In addition, the doctor must know communication skills, that is, the ability to talk with the patient, because today, this is becoming the main determinant of treatment success.
From my observation and experiences in the pediatric clinical rotation, I have witnessed the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration on several unique occasions. The most prominent case involved the pediatrician and pediatric ophthalmologist, who needed to cooperate to determine a child’s vision development impairment. As this toddler was growing up, the pediatrician noticed that his visual performance was not improving as it should with age.
Therefore, the pediatrician collaborated with the ophthalmologist to determine the problematic area. The case was also an outstanding illustration of family and multidisciplinary team cooperation because the mother’s observation provided a great deal of help in determining the corresponding diagnosis. She reported that her child would not notice her visually until she was directly in front of him. In addition, she claimed that during darkness or night periods, her son would not be able to see anything, despite her being capable of doing so. It also took a long period for the child to adjust his eyes to the dim room, which was previously brightly lit. The information helped to diagnose that he had a retinal disorder.
During the rotations, I was able to promote communication and collaboration between families and healthcare professionals, especially when doctors were busy, and I was put in charge of communicating the issues. During the case of a child with a retinal disorder, I attempted to alter the route of a conversation by asking the questions from mother about her observations regarding the child. Without these questions, she would not describe the symptoms of the retinal disorder because she considered them to be normal for the age of her son. The derived information was communicated to the pediatrician, which was further transferred to the ophthalmologist.
Therefore, in this particular case, communication resulted in a satisfactory outcome for the child and the mother because she now knew that her child had a retinal disorder. Although I am not informed of further investigations on what specifically caused the retinal damage, a collaborative effort was the sole reason for the correct diagnosis.
Communication skill, or in other words, communicative competence in the formation of a doctor’s personality, is understood as a complex of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral characteristics that accompanies the doctor’s work and promotes quality contact with patients and their loved ones. Professional medical practice has several specific features (McInerny et al., 2016). On the one hand, medical activity is characterized by the fact that a high frequency of interpersonal contact during communication with patients and their relatives occupies a significant place in it. Good psychological contact with the patient helps to collect anamnesis more accurately and to get a fuller and deeper understanding of the patient (Wiener et al., 2015).
The ability to communicate, or communicative competence, provides mutual understanding, trust in relationships, and efficiency in solving tasks. On the other hand, a doctor’s work is associated with psycho-emotional overload, a high degree of tension, with the need to make decisions in the face of time pressure (Stocker et al., 2016). Its success is determined not so much by professional knowledge and skills as such, but by the ability to implement them in their activities through the development of the professional qualities of the individual.
The major barrier was manifested in the lack of mutual understanding between the doctor and the mother regarding the severity of the issue. Misunderstanding of how significant the medical problem is can be considered a primary pitfall in the interaction between healthcare professionals and patients (Katkin et al., 2017). Special attention should be paid to the formation of communicative competence in the future pediatrician.
Features of communicative competence in the professional and personal development of a future doctor are mediated by the profile of the medical specialty. There are interrelationships between the profile of the medical specialty and the development of communicative competence in the professional and personal development of a future doctor (Durojaiye et al., 2019). At the same time, doctors specializing in pediatrics have a higher level of communicative competence than representatives of other specialties.
Durojaiye, A. B., Levin, S., Toerper, M., Kharrazi, H., Lehmann, H. P., & Gurses, A. P. (2019). Evaluation of multidisciplinary collaboration in pediatric trauma care using EHR data. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 1, 1-10. Web.
Katkin, J. P., Kressly, S. J., Edwards, A. R., Perrin, J. M., Kraft, C. A., & Richerson, J. E. (2017). Guiding principles for team-based pediatric care. Pediatrics, 140(2), 1-9. Web.
McInerny, T. K., Adam, H. M., Campbell, D. E., DeWitt, T. G., Foy, M. J., & Kamat, D. M. (2016). American Academy of Pediatrics textbook of pediatric care. American Academy of Pediatrics.
Stocker, M., Pilgrim, S. B., Burmester, M., Allen, M. L., & Gijselaers, W. H. (2016). Interprofessional team management in pediatric critical care: Some challenges and possible solutions. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 9, 47-58. Web.
Wiener, L., Kazak, A. E., Noll, R. B., Patenaude, A. F., & Kupst, M. J. (2015). Interdisciplinary collaboration in standards of psychosocial care. Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 62(5), 425. Web.