How to deal with communication challenges we might face when encountering a subject.
How to deal with communication challenges we might face when encountering a subject. In the past year we have had specific training in how to communicate with a deaf subject, a Spanish-speaking subject, and a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In one practical scenario we were put to the test and our commander arranged for us to find a deaf child in distress at the end of our mock search. It was a great learning experience! In thinking about communication with patients and families and in preparing your team or organization for such encounters, what do you currently do to prepare for these types of communication challenges? It’s ok to share stories of your experience but I’d like you to focus on viewing this from an executive perspective. What can you do to best prepare your teams for these types of encounters?
Differentiate between decision-making, problem solving, and critical thinking, and describe how these approaches are utilized by the registered nurse in coordinating patient care. (PO 2, 6)
Describe a patient-centered model that uses clinical pathways, nursing care plans, and multidisciplinary action plans to assist in planning quality-driven and cost-effective care. (PO 8, 9)
Consider a situation in which communication occurred with a nonnursing professional or patient’s family. What barriers or challenges were apparent? What strategies were used or could be used to overcome the barriers or challenges?
Communication seems like such an overused word, and its continued emphasis and importance in healthcare means that nurses and leaders, as well as others in the healthcare environment, continue to miss the level of effectiveness needed to meet patient and organizational goals. Leaders must reflect on their communication patterns by reviewing interactions and determining what they could have done to improve their effectiveness. Communicating effectively is an art beyond general verbalization between people and should be a top priority for nurses and leaders.
Research with nurse and physician groups has determined there are several significant components that must be apparent for communication to be effective (Robinson, Gorman, Slimmer, & Yudkowsky, 2010). First, there needs to be a clear and concise message. The person receiving the message needs to verify and confirm that the message has been heard correctly. Some techniques that have been used include beginning phrases with “what I hear you saying is” or “the message that I heard was.” Additionally, when taking a message, repeating the speaker’s words helps to ensure that what was heard is correct. Next, the message sender and receiver should collaborate to come to a decision. The communicators need to feel that they are a team in decision making, where each would seek the advice of the other in specific instances. The third component is to remain calm in a crisis. The volume, tone, and directness of the communication must be modulated so that the communication does not add additional tension or stress in the environment. Also, it is important to be appreciative of support and help offered by others, such as extending a thank you. Fourth is the need for ongoing demonstration of mutual respect. An extension of respect is trust. Those communicating with each other need to be able to trust and rely on the information that is being shared. Lastly, each of those who communicate in healthcare want to understand the professional role of the other person.
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