Reflective Diary - Communication

Authors Avatar by josephine_abumereyahoocom (student)

This reflective diary consists of four entries, and I will be focussing on the first entry which is about how I have put into practice all that I have learned from this module such as how to communicate effectively with a service user at my place of work. I will be using Gerard Egan's Soler approach which includes the use of good eye contact, facing squarely, keeping an open posture, leaning, and how to be relaxed when communicating with a service user. Furthermore, I will be also be using Francis R.’s 6C’s report which are care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment. Also, I will be using Gibbs’ cycle of reflection in my diary.

On the 30th of September 2014, I arrived on the ward at about 06:50 a.m. to get myself prepared before taking over from the night staff who usually starts handover at 7:00 a.m. Communication is a necessary tool for all healthcare professionals because it is used from the beginning to the end of the shift. Therefore, clear information should be sent across to everyone ranging from (housekeepers, ward clerks, ward managers, nurses, carers, physiotherapists, dieticians and doctors) on duty in a polite manner. For instance, when we speak to service users in a respectful manner and when we are considerate of their feelings, culture, and values, it is much easier to build a rapport with them.

During handover, information was passed on to me about Mr K, who is a dementia patient. After the handover I sat beside Mr K’s bed, ensuring that I made some eye contact with him. It was also important for him to notice my mouth movement, and in a slow and clear tone I asked if I could assist him with his personal care. Although I used verbal communication, I had to speak at a moderate pace because if spoke too quickly, he would not have been able to understand me and this could have led to him getting confused. In addition, by making eye contact with him, it made me come across more friendly. After doing this, he declined my offer due to him suffering from dementia. The reasons were that dementia affects the memory and thinking which made it difficult for Mr K to understand what I asked of him, leading to him feeling very uncomfortable and declining my offer. Therefore, I tried a different method of communicating with him, by summarizing all I had to say in short sentences. I did this because people with dementia get agitated when we use long sentences as they find it difficult to understand. Because Mr K, a dementia patient, declined my offer, he might have for instance forgotten what time of the day he is being asked to take his shower. This explains why he declined my offer to assist him with his personal care needs. Afterwards, I began to see myself in his position, and this motivated me to go back and speak to him which I did but this time with the help of body language and facial expression. He finally allowed me to assist him with his personal care after just one attempt. This highlights the effectiveness of communicating through facial expressions and one’s body language as some might prefer this type of communication. Some of the basic communication skills a health care professionals should be aware of is the complexity of active listening skills as explained by Trevithick (2010:123)

According to Francis R. (2013) 6C’s report on care, healthcare professionals should provide service users with the best quality of care because service users and their families expect the best services from us. I used this model of communication throughout my conversation with Mr K while assisting him with his personal care needs. I was compassionate with him action to make this vision and strategy a reality for all and meet the health, care and support challenges ahead.

In my conclusion, reflecting back on what I have achieved during this module has helped me to take an objective view of my progress. I could see what went well, my strengths and weaknesses and what needs working on, then identify areas to develop and start to think about ways to do this regularly and on a daily basis.

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 During handover, information should be clearly explained from the sender to the receiver so that the job can be carried out effectively because communication is a two way process and it should be clear in a way that everyone should understand each other.

Through this module I have learnt that maintaining eye contact with shows that you are a good listener and it is a form of good body language. My confidence level has increased and I am now able to speak up within group.

Entry two:  The role-play and group formation



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