Caregivers are the bridge between patients and medical cannabis when patients cannot visit the dispensary. However, before caregivers can be effective advocates for their patients, they need to understand how to interview a patient to understand their needs.
Patient counseling is straightforward and largely involves careful listening and reflection on what you hear. Patients may struggle to articulate their needs in a way that leaves you feeling confident you understand their needs. Soulful Cannabis has the following advice for caregivers working with patients.
One of the key challenges patients face when they first visit a dispensary is navigating the many options available.
Selecting the right products involves careful consideration of several factors:
- Patient health and wellness
- Patient cannabis experience and preferences
- Patient lifestyle and work-life
Active Listening is a skill many of us do daily, but not realize it. This quick tutorial from MindTools covers the basics of active listening.
Patients may bring a lot of anxiety to their first counseling session. Cannabis stigma, discomfort with discussing personal topics with new people, among other issues can prevent a patient from fully sharing their needs with you. The following tips will help you set patients at ease when working with them.
- Keep a friendly expression at all times
- Express empathy for the patient’s suffering
- Confirm that healthcare conversations are confidential
Each patient will have a different level of experience and formal knowledge of cannabis. For many patients, they’ve been using cannabis for years and for some cannabis is a new experience.
- How long have you been using cannabis?
- How often do you currently use cannabis?
- How much do you know about how cannabis works in the body?
Each patient is unique and has their own set of circumstances that will influence how they consume cannabis. Evaluating these factors, consider how the patient might respond to the following questions.
- Does the patient have a private space where they can consume cannabis?
- Does the patient have lifestyle factors that make vaping impractical or potentially dangerous?
- Does the patient have to worry about discretion at home or while on the go?