Drawing on one of the following:

  1. Your experience from placement,
  2. Your personal experience of health or social care,
  3. The British media,

Describe the factors that help or hinder person-centred care and interprofessional collaboration.    

Word count 2,950

The following assignment will reflect on an experience from practice settings. It will consider and discuss the incident, which took place while on practice placement. The issues discussed will focus on defining who is a person and what it is person centred care. It will consider the responsibilities and roles of health professionals and how they meet the needs of the patient and how they deliver person centred care. The importance of communication in person centred care will be considered. Within this assignment the anonymity and confidentiality will be maintained. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (2004) Code of professional Conduct stated that confidential information obtained in the course of professional practice should not be disclosed without the consent of the patient or someone authorised to act on the patient’s behalf.


The patient was 77-year-old lady, Mrs. M. She was admitted to the ward with weight and appetite loss and she complained about severe headaches. After some investigations the diagnosis was made that the patient had got a brain tumour. Before the admission she was still active both physically and mentally. The patient had very supportive family, which visited her almost every day. It was an unsuspected diagnosis for all of them. She was referred to other hospital for radiology treatment and she went there several times. I was assisting the patient with personal hygiene that day and as we were talking, she asked me when her next radiology appointment was due and I said tomorrow, as it was given to me during handover in the morning. She was quite excited about it and she asked me to prepare her clothes for the next day. Her condition was gradually deteriorating. She was more tired and less active especially after her radiology treatments. Later that day the ward round took place. As usual on the ward round there were quite a few health professionals participating; the consultant, the ward doctor, a few junior doctors, the nurse in charge and a student nurse. The consultant had to tell the patient the bad news that her radiology treatment was not giving the expected results and that the brain tumour was spreading and in consequence the radiology treatment was cancelled. At the time while the consultant was talking with the patient her privacy was hardly maintained, the curtains were not drawn; the consultant was standing at the beginning of the patient bed while she was sitting and he talking loudly enough that the other patient could hear him.

It took the consultant maybe three minutes to communicate the bad news and all the explanation, at times he asked her “do you understand what happened”, she answered “Yes, doctor” and so on. I was the last person to leave patient’s room after the consultation and she immediately asked me “so what time am going for my radiology tomorrow?” It was at that moment that I realised she did not understand what the consultant was actually trying to say. She did not understand that her brain tumour was spreading and that there was only limited treatment, which could be offered to her. Latter on the nurse in charge came back to the patient and spent time explaining to her what had been said previously.

The professionals involved with the care of Mrs. M did not particularly show the best implementation of person centred care, where was the protection of privacy, dignity and confidentiality? Use of empathetic body language was missing and the consultant who was standing above somebody who was sitting and feeling vulnerable is almost like an implementation of power. It was a ward round with a few professionals involved but no one actually realised that Mrs. M had not understood what was said. If the consultant knew the diagnosis why was it that the medical staff involved had not asked Mrs. M if maybe she would like to be with her family at that time? Tschudin (2003) stated that nurse’s loyalty is to their patients, but must also respect the family (cited Collis 2006). However Mayers (1997) found that the majority of relatives would not want the patient to be informed of the prognosis, but would want to be informed if they were the patient. Why did it only take the consultant around three minutes to talk to the patient about her terminal diagnosis? However while the consultant was asking Mrs. M if she understood what he meant she always replied “yes, doctor I understand”. The consultant had limited contact with the patient and he did not realise that the patient had not understand him, perhaps if he spent a little bit more time with Mrs. M and treat her as an individual it will help him to actually understand the patient more and will build the caring  relationship.

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Patient centred care is a practice of respect and puts the patient in the central point of provided care, and treats each patient as a person. Automatically the question arises but who is a person? There is a lot of controversy around the definition of the word person because it can touch issues surrounding the beginning and ending of life and what a person is it can be quite a personal thing.

There are as well personal and social values and beliefs involved in that description. While thinking of a person we should ask ourselves the question that is ...

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