Often times, people don't tell us what we need to know. As you sit in your chair, with your medical wear on, you hope that each and every person that comes in will tell you the information you need for their support, but for many reasons they simply do not. This is why it is important for you to learn how to ready the body language of another person. Body language is the actions that people take, usually without actually realizing it, that can signal the way they really feel. No matter what they are saying, body language can tell the real answer to your questions.
One of the most common problems is that people don't tell you the whole story. Withholding information is sometimes easy to detect in the body language of an individual. When a person folds his or her arms in front of themselves, this is an indication they are not saying something. They are safeguarding information or thoughts. If they put their hands behind their back, this can indicate that they are being more open, but still feeling less trusting.
It is not always easy to tell when someone is not forth coming on all information needed. Some body language can give you an indication that all is not accurate. For example, a person who cannot look another in the eye is often not giving total information. A person who is fidgeting or bouncing his or her knee is nervous about something, often times something related to being "caught." Nail biting is also an indication of a nervous person. The individual may also try to change the topic away from the question being asked.
Sometimes, it can help to take a course or two in body language to really learn how to read it well. Even in the medical profession, it is important to understand the behaviors of patients to ensure you are being given the very best information possible. You don't want to put on surgical caps and head into an operating room without all of the information necessary, after all. Body language can sometimes tell you more than what a person really says.