“In order to deliver quality care to these patients, it is paramount for doctors to understand how to communicate, how to read nonverbal cues, and how to manage emotions…yet this is not part of the current medical curriculum.”
– Dr. Rich Castellano
According to Dr. Rich Castellano, nonverbal communication skills are crucial for treating patients with PTSD.
PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults with war veterans bringing it to national attention. Today, hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women and recent military veterans have seen combat. Many have been shot at, seen their buddies killed, or witnessed death up close. Traumatic events like this frequently lead to PTSD (Source).
Demand for PTSD treatment continues to grow, and new techniques are desperately needed. Castellano is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon who devoted his practice to researching the impact of facial expressions and body language on human behavior. He was selected to perform a series of trainings at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL to improve patient communication, compliance, and suicide risk. In these innovative new training sessions, Castellano teaches military doctors to: Identify and measure their emotions/empathy/kindness/happiness; Modify the emotions/empathy/kindness/happiness in themselves and others; and diagnose and treat troublesome behavior patterns in patients and healthcare teams before they spiral out of control.
These efforts are significantly enhancing the treatment of PTSD. By knowing how to read cues in patient behavior, clinicians are able to better diagnose and treat patients. In addition, patients are more proactive and trusting when they feel connected on an emotional level to a doctor. This can greatly impact a treatment plan and improve the quality of care.
“I came into this not knowing what to expect,” said Master Sgt. Terrence Raybon, a flight chief of the clinical lab assigned to the 6th MDG. “For our career field, communication is how we get everything done between Airmen and the patients.”
“Our entire intent for this was not for customer service, but to facilitate communication training and make the customer interactions more pleasant all around,” said Col. Kevin Wright, the commander of the 6th MDG. “I am hoping these Airmen take the tools Castellano talked about and bring them back to their work sections to improve the interpersonal dynamic between themselves and the patients.”
“How many times in your workplace do you hear ‘well I told them to do that and nothing got done,’ well that’s an example of what you say versus how you say it. What I’m teaching these Airmen, is to build that relationship to know who is communicating effectively and whoever you are talking to is receiving what you’re saying.”
– Dr. Rich Castellano
In An Interview/Article, Dr. Castellano Can Discuss:
- Why nonverbal communication training for military doctors will help patients with PTSD
- Communication tips for both patients and doctors that could save your life in the exam room
- Important nonverbal cues frequently missed by doctors
- How training practitioners in emotional literacy and communication will improve the healthcare system and save people money
Castellano is on a crusade to better the world through the knowledge of communication and emotional literacy.