My Reflection on Nursing Communication Essay example

1142 Words Nov 2nd, 2008 5 Pages
Mr. Comer was admitted to his local community hospital for respite care. He has suffered multiple, acute strokes in the past, which has left him with severe disabilities. These include paralysis rendering him immobile, aphasia (speech loss) and dysphagia (swallowing difficulties). He relies on carers for all normal activities required for daily living (Roper et al 1996) and is advised to have a pureed diet and thickened fluids.

My mentor asked me to observe her feeding Mr Comer. She had prepared my learning the week previously by providing literature on the subject of feeding elderly patients and discussion on safe practice for feeding patients with dysphagia.

I was alarmed and unprepared for the physical sight of this patient,
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Not being able to voice my dislike to the meal offered exacerbated by the urgency of hunger or thirst.

Although this experience was very frightening for me and frustrating for the patient, it has highlighted the need for me to improve my communication skills. NMC (2002) outlines that we must not add extra stress or discomfort to a patient by our actions and we must use our professional skills to identify patient?s ?preferences regarding care?and the goals of the therapeutic relationship?.

Severtseen (1990) cited by Duxbury (2000) applies the term ?therapeutic communication? as the dialogue between nurse and patient to achieve goals tailored exclusively to the patients needs. In this case dialogue is used by Mr. Comer in the form of body language and noise to communicate his needs because of speech loss.

Nelson-Jones (1990) states that facial expressions are an intrinsic way to express emotions and eye contact is one way to show interest. The avoidance in eye contact displayed by Mr. Comer showed his distinct lack of interest. Compounding these factors was his facial paralysis, which made it especially difficult for me to ascertain the exact nature of his feelings.

The nurse must be the sender and more importantly the receiver of clear information. Patients with speech impairment or loss have a more difficult task sending the messages they want and are sometimes unsuccessful in making themselves understood. (Arnold & Boggs 1995).

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