The Role of Effective Communication

Published: 2021-09-29 11:00:10
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Category: Communication

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Communication plays an important role throughout a patient’s health journey where nurses have greater responsibility ensuring comprehensive care. There are several factors affecting the communication between the nurse and the patient like:

Listening means becoming aware of what is said both verbally and non verbally.
Non verbal cue is messages without words.
Personal space, a space person claims as their own.
Distance is the considerable space appropriate for interactions between two people.

In the video, Raza Zahidi is a nurse who is in a clinical placement at UCT hospital, accessing a patient called Jeannette Bryant who just got her knee replacement, Jeannette is kept in a personal space with personal bed and curtains around to cover. The nurse seemed to have followed all the above factors effectively where she actively listens to the patient without interrupting when the patient replies to all her questions regarding pain. This very attitude of the nurse builds a trust towards the patient so in the video, the patient after explaining the pain ask for medication. The nurse maintained good eye contact with the patient assuring her of the confidence to handle the case, encouraging the patient to open up about her level of pain. She even notices the flower next to patient’s bed which shows the nurse is very attentive. When it comes to maintaining distance while interviewing the patient, the nurse kept social distance which is approximately 1.2 – 3.5meters according to (Estes et al, 2016, p. 19). According to Estes at al, social distance is considered appropriate for the interview process because because it allows for eye contact and for easier hearing seeing the patient’s non verbal cues.Effective communication techniques facilitate interactions between the nurse and the patient fostering their continuation. (Estes et al, 2016, P. 19) The nurse in the video uses three communication techniques such as 1. Listening 2. Open ended question and 3. Informing.
Active listening plays an important role in understanding a patient’s situation. In the video, the nurse after asking several questions, listens patiently nodding her head and keeps an eye contact with the patient giving assurance that she is concentrating. This led the patient to speak openly about her pain being 6 out of 10 and how severe it gets when she moves around. Open ended questions are unstructured questions which gives the patient a freedom of what to say and how much to say in response.
An open ended questions are used in the video by the nurse where she asked using words like ‘how’ and ‘when’ regarding the pain giving the patient a freedom to describe about her pain. She also allowed the patient to speak about how she feels after the medication and her constipation situation. According to Estes et al, using an open ended question gives a sense of respect for the patient’s ability to identify important health concern and thus help set priorities.
Third communication technique used by the nurse is informing. The Nurse is seen informing the patient about a physiotherapist who will come later to get her do bit of exercise like walking. This information can help the patient to be prepared and also decrease her anxiety level as she is already informed. In the second part of the video, the registered nurse and nurse in training is accompanied by another registered nurse to which they inform the patient why third nurse is around with them. This kind of information also helps the patient feel comfortable to correspond. Coming to last part of the video, the nurse informs the patient about speaking to dietitian to add fiber in her diet to improve her constipation situation. All this informing technique were effective because the patient was smiling and thanked her which shows the patient is able to trust the nurse with her procedures to achieve a positive outcome with patient’s health care.
With list of communication techniques that enhances the communication between a nurse and patient, comes along a list of communication techniques one should avoid as a health professional. Ineffective communication techniques creates a limitation often leaving the patient feeling uncomfortable and withdraw from speaking up about their condition, irritating and furious too.
Though the nurse in the video is trying best to handle the patient very well, there is still some draw back in regards to the whole procedure which can act as a barrier between the patient and the nurse resulting in poor outcome.
Two communication techniques that need to be avoided in the future by nurse is requesting a repeated explanation and interrupting the patient. In the video just after the patient explains her pain scale is 6 out of 10, which clearly means it is moderately strong pain, the nurse goes on to ask two more times for an explanation regarding the pain to which the patient replies the first question by saying it is quite severe and upon asking the same question for second time the patient gets bit irritated, was visible through her annoyed expression and her reply saying, ‘you are aware of it’. This kind of repeated requesting for an explanation can lead to less participation of the patient leading to minimal sharing of information.
Estes et al, states that interrupting the patient can often lead to confusion or irritation, making them feel lack of respect from the nurse’s side for whatever they are saying. In the first part of the video, when the patient asked the nurse if the flower is beautiful, instead of answering, she interrupted the patient and asked another question to the patient’s husband like if he brought the flower. Such act can create barrier causing hindrance to the health assessment of the patient.

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