Blog 3: Communication
Clinicals are a dream because it is the first time you get to interact with patients. It is the first chance to make a difference. It is a dream until it is your first day and you’re so nervous and unsure of yourself. Then, it is terrifying. I was nervous I wouldn’t know what to say to the patient, I would say the wrong thing, or sound like I did not know what I was talking about. I have this expectation of myself to be perfect, and as a student I have to be cognizant every day that I am learning, and it is not bad to not know everything. It’s a chance to improve. It has taught me to allows ask questions, so I can know going forward.
I think the biggest communication challenge is silence. I have a hard time deciding if it is okay to just sit in the silence or if I should be trying to build rapport with the patient. This is very hard for me because I am comfort sitting in silence when I am with my good friends just surrounded by their company, but when it comes to new people I question myself. In the past, I have been told I am not social enough and need to make the effort to talk to new people and learn how to be an active listener to create and maintain connections. As I sit with my patients each week I question if I am doing enough to make them feel comfortable. I know it is not able me, but I do not want to come off as rude or have the patient think I am not empathic to what they are going through. Some of it probably stems from a lack of self-confidence.
To overcome this challenge, I plan to be aware of myself as I interact with patients making sure I am always taking into account what is going on with the patients and what is best for them. Being able recognize if the patient is looking for someone to talk or if they just want someone to be there with them so they do not feel alone. As I have experienced interacting with more patients, I have noticed it is easier to recognize when they want to sleep and when they want to sit there and talk to someone, so they are not as alone. I am so glad we have the opportunity to have two and a half years of patient interaction, so once I am officially a nurse I know the most appropriate way to interact with my patients.