So far, I have had very few communication challenges. I have only had two patients. My first patient was not fully alert and oriented, so I had to adjust my communication to that. It was a little odd for me at first. When I worked on my memory-care and dementia floor at the nursing home, we didn’t attempt to reorient a lot of the patients. We were taught to “enter their reality” and speak to them therapeutically in that way. At the hospital, I had to remind myself to orient my patient. When she did not correctly answer the date, I gently reminded her it was the end of January, and the next Holiday approaching was Valentine’s day. This easily led into a conversation about Valentines and her husband who passed. Other than the lack of orientation, my first patient was very kind and easy to communicate with. She was about to be dismissed, so there was little for me to communicate to her regarding her care
My second patient was also quite fine. However, for the sake of the assignment, I will say out of the two patients and clinical experiences, my largest communication challenge occurred with him. My patient was very tired after having been kept up the entire night getting admitted to the E.D and then into the hospital and going through initial hospital entry protocols. Several times I went into his room to find him sleeping. This was a barrier to me being able to do some of my vitals, Health assessment and rounds. I contribute to this challenge because if I wake him constantly, I jeopardize both his health and temperament. However, I made it a point to wake him gently for necessary vital signs, and I let him sleep in other situations where I could just peek into the room to check on him.
I am excited to continue to communicate with patients. I know more “difficult” patients will likely be in my future, and I am glad to know techniques now to appropriately address any communication issues I may come across.