Today, when poor adherence to treatment is a major obstacle to effective TB control in Uzbekistan, improving communication between health care professionals and patients is a priority. Through our Dialogue on HIV and TB Project, Project HOPE is conducting trainings for TB nurses to improve their patient counseling skills, since nurses – along with doctors – play a significant role in motivating TB patients to complete their treatment.
Marina, who has been a TB nurse in Uzbekistan for seven years, consults with patients, gives them medicines and visits them at home on a daily basis. She participated in HOPE’s training on interpersonal communication, counseling and TB treatment adherence support for the first time. A few months later, we met Marina at her workplace to see the changes she witnessed after the training.
“The training was so interesting. I actually had no idea about verbal and nonverbal communication, persuading skills and how all of these skills can be used in practice before. Our trainer discussed details in every aspect of our work. She taught us how to assess the patient’s psychological condition, how to win his/her trust and motivate the patient to complete the treatment. The training also provided me with inspiration. I am now excited to talk to patients in a new way; I now pay attention to his/her mood, gestures and intonation. Most importantly now I can convince the patient that TB is not the end of the world and help him/her overcome self-stigma.”
Project HOPE staff ran into a patient of Marina’s in her office. What he said made us all proud of the work we have done.
“After talking to Marina, I began believing that I really can be cured. I can work and enjoy life with my family. My life has become interesting!”
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