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!
I have recently began to watch the Grey’s Anatomy series and I think this is a perfect show to talk about patient/ provider communication. This show is so captivating but a lot of the scenes are unrealistic (or at least they should be). There are many examples of communication issues in this show, but the first one that comes to mind is Christina.
Christina is very blunt and does not show any empathy towards her patients. She typically is the one to tell the patients “either have the surgery or die” and doesn’t understand why people would care about anything else. She is not personable and often interrupts her patients while they are talking if she doesn’t agree with them. I think it is important not to sugar coat things, but Christina does not really care about her patients feelings at all. This creates a bad relationship with her patients and in the show they often call her out for being rude and judgmental.
A good example of patient/ provider communication in this show is George. Even though he usually gets stuck with the cases that nobody wants, he always makes the situation better. He is very kind hearted and really cares a lot about the patients feelings and emotions. He talks to them about how their feeling, their families, and what they may be scared about. George is very good at making patients feel better about their situations helps them to accept the reality they are in.
There are other examples of communication in this show but I think Christina and George are the best to talk about. They are both great surgeons but have very different ways of communicating with their patients.
In my first few weeks of clinical, my biggest communication challenge was with a patient. This patient was confused and unresponsive more than half of the time I was with him. It was my first time doing a full assessment by myself and it was very hard for me to get through it because he wasn’t able to answer my questions or do things when I asked. I tried easily shaking his shoulder and saying his name in a loud voice to get his attention, but I could only get a few grunts out of him. This was hard for me because I didn’t know the exact way to handle this situation.
I believe I contributed to this communication issue by trying to get too much out of him. Me trying on multiple occasions to get his attention and finish my assessment might have annoyed him or made matters worse. However, the times that he was alert and able to talk we had very pleasant conversations so I think the main issue was just his varying levels of confusion and unresponsiveness.
I think the best way to overcome this particular challenge would have been to do the parts of my assessment that needed his input early on before he fell asleep. But since there really wasn’t any way for me to know that, I’m not exactly sure what the best way to handle this would be. If this same sort of things happens later on in clinical I would consult with the nurse to see how she has been doing her assessments.
This week I decided to spend my 30 minutes observing people while I was in Subway. I saw many different kinds of communication happening while I was eating my sandwich, and it was interesting to actually pay close attention to that. I never realized the depth of communication and how powerful non-verbals are.
The most interesting things I noticed was between the employees. Without speaking a word, they’re able to work around each other in such a small space and not get in each other’s way. I saw one of the workers hand the other a cutting knife before she even asked. It was interesting because they were both so aware of each other but could still do their own individual jobs.
Another type of communication I noticed was between customers. I noticed an older man and woman who were talking to each other, they looked into each other’s eye when they spoke, and smiled a lot. On the flip side, I also observed a younger girl and boy who both seemed nervous around each other. They looked down at their feet a lot, didn’t look at each other when talking, and filled their quite times by pulling out their phone. I’m not sure whether the difference is age, technology, or just personality, but it was clear to me that the older couple felt much more comfortable being together.
Lastly, as I was walking out to get back into my car, I had to stop because as car was also pulling out. The driver gave a slight wave and I quickly sent back a smile and raised my hand as well. This interaction seems to happen to me all the time but I had never thought about how it is a non-verbal conversation. Those small hand gestures really say “I see you, go ahead!” and then, “thank you!”.
Hi Christa! My name is Jenna Coffman. I am a sophomore here in the college and I am so thankful to say that! I am excited that you chose to do blog posts as our assignments because I have always loved to journal. I think its a very good way to self- reflect and much less boring than doing weekly quizzes.
I come from Bucyrus, Ohio, which is a very small town about and hour north of Columbus. You could say that I am a “country girl” although I don’t really like that label. My dad taught me how to hunt and fish when I was young so those are stull hobbies that I have today. My mom however, taught me how to love shopping, cooking, reading, and most of all, traveling. I’ve been lucky enough to go to some pretty cool places throughout my life, and our summer vacations to the beach is what I look forward to all year.
While I was in high school I played softball and volleyball. They meant so much to me back then and it was hard to let them go when I decided to come to OSU. I had to find some new things to be a part of, but that wasn’t too difficult here! I am in a club called CHAARG, which is a workout/ fitness group for girls where we meet once a week and go to different workout studios in downtown Columbus. I am also in Younglife, as Christian organization that was also very important to me in high school. Lastly, as college is very expensive, I work as an SNA at the Wexner Medical Center. I just recently finished my training so I’m still very new, but I hope that having a little experience will give me some extra confidence in my clinical.
I am looking forward to this class and I hope to learn a lot. I am often shy and don’t always like to be in a conversation with someone I’m not comfortable with. I think this class will be really beneficial to me and help me gain some new skills!
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