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Easy Does It! Plain Language and Clear Verbal Communication
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Easy Does It! Plain Language and Clear Verbal Communication (Training Manual)
National Literacy and Health Program
Canadian Public Health Association
Funded by the National Literacy Secretariat

Book Details:
Published: 1998
Pages: 90
Website: www.cpha.ca
Price: $20.00 (Call to verify shipping and handling Ask for a catalog of other publications as well)
Phone: 613 725 3769
Fax: 613 725 9826
ISBN: 1-894324-00-5

Editorial Review by Shirley Brown, M.A., CCC-SLP:
I couldn't say it any better.

The introduction to the training manual Easy Does It, Plain Language and Clear Verbal Communication by the National Literacy and Health Program and the Canadian Public Health Association says it all.

Accessing health care and health information, as well as following treatment plans, can be difficult and confusing for health consumers. Complicated forms, hard-to-read brochures, technical jargon, unclear medication instructions and treatment plans all create barriers to quality health care and patient well being.

Easy Does It!, offers information, tips, techniques and stories to help you improve the way you communicate with your patients. It is not good enough to feel empathetic toward your clients if you do not know how to put your concern into practice. Clear verbal communication is a core clinical skill you can develop. It is not just a useful attitude of optional extra.

By using clear verbal communication techniques and plain language health information, you will improve the quality of health Care you give to all of your clients. The ones who will benefit most are clients with low literacy skills.

Many health providers are caught between shrinking resources and an expanding workload. If you feel that you are unable to offer the quality care you would like, "Easy Does It!" will show you how changing your communication habits can help you become more effective during the time you can spend with clients. Clear and caring communication between providers and clients is the cornerstone of quality health care, and at the heart of the healing process.

Easy Does It!:
Introduces you to the links between literacy and health. Provides you with effective communication tools. Discusses professional liability as it relates to informed consent.

The training manual contains eight units
  • Literacy in Canada
  • Literacy and Health
  • Clear Verbal Communication
  • What is Plain Language?
  • Plain Language Health Information
  • Health Environments
  • Professional Liability
  • Implications of Low literacy Rates for Health Professional Education, Direct Service and Health Policy

In each of these units you will find a unit overview, discussion of each topic and quotes from adult learners. Most units feature a case study and discussion questions. Some units offer practical exercises to apply what you have learned. You will find five helpful appendices at the back of the manual which include answers to discussion questions and tips from literacy workers. A bibliography is also provided.

As you use Easy Does It! remember that almost half of all adults across Canada wage a daily struggle against a wall of words which puts their health, safety and well-being at risk. As a health provider, you can make a difference by changing the way you communicate with your patients.

Away you go, and Easy Does It!

About the Reviewer:
Shirley A. Brown, MA, CCC-SLP is a Life Member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Ms. Brown has pursued her career, as a Speech-Language Pathologist, in a variety of medical settings; hospitals, rehabilitation treatment centers, nursing homes and home health care.

She has received numerous professional honors and awards, among them the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation's Award for Outstanding Clinical Achievement in Human Communication Sciences, as well as, being one of the first recipients to receive The American Cancer Society's Crimson Sword Award for Outstanding Contributions in Both Professional and Patient Services. She was given a Distinguished Service Award by the New Jersey Speech-Language Hearing Association. She is listed in, The National Distinguished Service Registry for Speech and Hearing, Who's Who in American Women and Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare.

Ms. Brown has worked closely with the Gimbel M.S. Comprehensive Care Center. She is a member of the Clinical Advisory Committee for the Greater North Jersey Chapter, National MS Society. For the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, she has served on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of MS Care and has participated as a Speech-Language Pathology Project Leader for the CMSC's Web Site. Currently, she is serving as the CMSC's Web Site Project Director.

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