My time spent in clinical has been a huge learning experience. Not only has my confidence in my nursing abilities grown, but my communications skills have skyrocketed. I remember how scared I was to simply walk into my patients room on the first day of clinical. I didn’t know the best way to introduce myself, what questions to ask them, or how to talk about difficult subjects. After more time spent in the hospital and learning skills in this class, I began to gain much more confidence in myself and started to feel relaxed while helping my patients.
I think that one of the most beneficial things I learned this year is the power of silence. I’m have a habit of always trying to comfort or give advice to people when they are upset, but I found that sometimes patients just need someone to listen to them. Instead of telling them what I think they should do to get better, or console them by saying “it will all be okay”, I have realized how much more effective it is to listen and be present. Words aren’t always needed to show you care!
There are definitely some communication skills that I want to grow upon in my future practice. I struggle with saying no to patients, such as a diabetic asking for three ice creams, or a fluid restriction patient asking for their big cup of water. I typically end up saying “let me ask your nurse!” because I don’t want to be the one to tell them that they aren’t allowed to have something. This is something that I want to feel more comfortable with doing and maybe some patient education will help them to understand my reasoning . I also would like to get better at my ISBAR reports. I know this is a skill that needs to be practiced so hopefully I will get better at it with time!