Published May 29, 2009
Help!! I keep getting called into the office because of "tone of voice". God I hate that phrase. I can say something totally innocent and a patient will say my tone was rude or something. I don't realize it. To me it seems like I am just fine. Does any one else have this problem? I need suggestions for how to better control my voice even how loud it is. It carries. I have always had this problem. Help.
Just try to be AWARE of how you speak to pts. Before you go into a room remind yourself to speak slowly and with a softer tone. Be observant to how patients respond to you.
I have worked with a few people who had great hearts but just came across as harsh or rude without realizing it. Some refused to see it and always declared it "the pt's problem because I didn't mean it like that". I think you're on the right track for trying to find a way to manage this. Get feed back from your coworkers and keep working at it.
We all have something we have to work on, that's how we keep growing.
classicdame, MSN, EdD
I have that problem sometimes. I have learned to smile even when I don't mean it. That covers a lot of sins. Also, I have learned NOT to give my opinion, just the facts. The more I talk the deeper the hole gets. You might try taping a conversation between yourself and another person (with their permission of course). That might give insight.
I have the same problem and do not even realize it , had some issues in the past but I have learned to work on it for my future career endeavors.
morte, LPN, LVN
if you live in a big enough city, and have the money, you might try a voice/acting coach
Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN
morte has a good point.
Our CEO has a very loud and kind of obnoxious voice . . .. when she first started working she startled people all the time. Now it is just irritating.
also, purely for loudness....get your hearing checked........if you are not native to the area, perhaps your manner is ....a little more assertive than is the norm ? guy/girl maybe be making a difference as well....good luck
I have that problem when I speak to someone that doesn,t speak english. I find myself raising my voice....it is silly.... they do not understand English and I catch myself speaking to them as if speaking louder is going to make them understand my english better.....when I do that I feel really silly...like duhhhhhhhhhh. Try coaching yourself as others have stated...prior to going in the room. If they react differently that you expect...ask the family or the pt how it sounds to them...Once a pt or family member realizes you think enough of them to get their opinon you will find that they are more than willing to help you correct things like that and it builds a better repoire between you and them. Honesty is always the best policy and you will find that your problem will become a thing of the past very quickly...Good Luck
At my previous place of employment I was disciplined verbally several times, and had been written up due to pt and coworker complaints r/t my voice, I "sounded snippity", I "clipped my words", or I "sounded stuck up and rude."
At my current place of employment this has never happened, and I've been there for years.
I can only guess that my distinctive "Yankee" accent has softened even further, or it is a totally different culture. And I have started to use more contractions, and added the dreaded "ya'll" to my vocabulary. However, when I speak to someone from the midwest or east coast and I feel my accent reasserting itself, I start to become a little insecure about how I sound to those around me.
Ruby Vee, BSN
i suspect it's the dreaded "yankee accent" which has bitten me in the posterior in past jobs. i'm on the east coast now, and i'm less harsh than everyone else. i agree with the advice to be aware of and moderate your tone as much as possible. speak as low as you can and stick to the facts, jack, no opinions unless you're sure they're being solicited. also, be careful of how you joke with people. a dry sense of humor has sunk more than one nurse.
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