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Literacy And Communication Skills For Health Care

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Literacy And Communication Skills For Health Care

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Literacy and Communication Skills for Health Care
High literacy levels and communication skills are among the factors that affect the efficiency and quality of health care services. Literacy for health care involves the ability to obtain and understand health care information and using it to make suitable health care decisions (Sørensen, Van den Broucke, Fullam, Doyle, Pelikan, Slonska, & Brand, 2012). My paper will tackle the scenario where in a shift at an elderly care facility an elderly man falls on his way to the toilet and sustains a serious fracture.
His family later comes to the facility as the man is prepared for transfer from the hospital. As the nurse approaches the family for clear communication, the family is aggressive and confronts her yet she was not informed of their arrival in the facility. This paper will focus on explaining the concepts that could be applied and how the concepts can enhance communication in the scenario.
Communication between nurse and patients’ relatives greatly affects the patients well being as well as the outcome from the nursing cares (Mitchell, & Golden, 2012). In the above scenario there are a wide range of strategies that could have been used to ensure clear communication considering that effective communication plays a great role in ensuring well being of the patient
  One of the strategies is identifying the information need of the relatives. This involves giving information regarding the patient to the relatives and receiving information about the patient from the relatives. In the scenario above, it is clear that there was no clear exchange of information between the nurse and the patients’ relatives. The patients; relatives had sat for hours without receiving any further communication. This strategy would have ensured that the relatives are calm.
The other strategy is mutual understanding. Mutual understanding between the nurse and the patients’ relatives helps in improved communication. In the scenario there is no mutual understanding between the two parties (Silverman, Kurtz, & Draper, 2016). The nurse did not understand that the relatives were in a bad situation and needed to know more about their dads’ condition. Mutual understanding could have helped to ensure clear communication on the situation.
The scenario portrays several instances of ineffective communication. The main situation that displays ineffective interpersonal communication is when the relatives asked what was going on. This means that the nurse did not take time to give clear information to the relatives about the situation and what was to follow. This demonstrates that the nurse did not respond to information needs of the elders’ relatives. The family needed to understand the entire condition of their dad and the step to be taken next.
Another instance of ineffective communication is displayed when the family said that they were told that their dad needed to be taken to hospital. The nurse did not explain to the relatives at what time was their dad to be taken to hospital and to which hospital. This left the relatives confused and did not understand what was really going on. This could have made them angry thus they were aggressive at the nurse. The family needed to know the costs that were expected for the treatment of their father.
The relatives were also not emotionally supported. Emotional support also plays a key role in ensuring effective communication between the patients’ relatives and the nurse (Shitu, Hassan, Aung, Kamaruzaman, & Musa, 2018). In the scenario the family was left sitting alone for hours. No one in the facility bothered to communicate to them and offer emotional support. The health care professionals should have communicated on the situation and tell the relatives about the situation of their dad either good or worse. In the scenario the nurses only focused on dealing with the critical condition of the elder and ignored communication.
AIDET is a framework for health care professionals to communicate effectively with the patients and their families. This frame work helps in reducing patients’ and family’s anxiety. This framework would have worked in the scenario to ensure positive outcomes. The facility should have introduced AIDET to avoid such unclear communication between the professionals, patient and the patients’ family.
Assertive communication enhances interpersonal communication in health care. Assertive communicators are able to express their feelings, opinions and needs in a respective manner. In the scenario the patients’ relatives did not show assertive communication. Assertive communication could have helped in ensuring the family would not be aggressive at the nurse.
SOAP tool of communication could have been used to ensure effective communication between the health care professionals. SOAP tool involves documentation about the patients’ health concerns. In the scenario SOAP tool would have ensured the nurse was aware of the patients’ condition before the handover.
One of the concepts that could have enhanced the communication skills in the scenario is if the health care professionals understood the need of information by the family. The major content of communication is achieved through exchange of information (O’hagan, Manias, Elder, Pill, Woodward?Kron, McNamara & McColl, 2014). Obtaining information about their dad was one of the major needs of the relatives at that moment. This misunderstanding led to ineffective communication.
Formal communication training could also be adopted to ensure effective communication. Communication skills are a determinant of outcomes in health care (O’Toole, 2016). Making communication skills part of the practitioners training helps in ensuring effective communication in health care (Arnold, & Boggs, 2015). The scenario displays inadequate communication training of the healthcare professionals in the facility. Proper training would have ensured effective communication between the professionals and the relatives in the scenario.
Offering emotional support would have worked in enhancing the communication skills between the nurse and the elders’ family members. Lack of emotional support acted as a barrier to effective communication (Riley, 2015). From the scenario the relatives were not offered with emotional support which includes informing the whether their dad was in a good condition. The relatives were aggressive at the nurse due to anxiety. Emotional support from the facility’s professionals would have calmed the family members. This concept would have helped in managing the relatives’ anxiety and aggression.
The paper demonstrates concepts that should be applied in the first scenario to ensure effective communication between the health care professionals and the affected persons’ family. Mutual understanding solves the problem of ineffectiveness as both understand each other (O’hagan, Manias, Elder, Pill, Woodward?Kron, McNamara, & McColl, 2014). The health care professionals should have understood the need of information by the family.
ISOBAR and ISBAR handover tools would have enhanced communication in the scenario. The nurse did not receive clear information about the patient.  ISOBAR tool would have worked to ensure clear communication between the nurses suring the handover. Lack of formal communication training brings about to ineffective communication (Silverman, Kurtz, & Draper, 2016). Communication training concept works to ensure effective interpersonal communication in the health care facilities.
Arnold, E. C., & Boggs, K. U. (2015). Interpersonal Relationships-E-Book: Professional  Communication Skills for Nurses. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Riley, J. B. (2015). Communication in nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences.
O’hagan, S., Manias, E., Elder, C., Pill, J., Woodward?Kron, R., McNamara, T., … & McColl, G. (2014). What counts as effective communication in nursing? Evidence from nurse educators’ and clinicians’ feedback on nurse interactions with simulated patients. Journal of advanced nursing, 70(6), 1344-1355.
Mitchell, P., & Golden, R. (2012). Core principles & values of effective team-based health care.  National Academy of Sciences.
O’Toole, G. (2016) Communication-eBook: Core Interpersonal Skills for Health Professionals. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Sørensen, K., Van den Broucke, S., Fullam, J., Doyle, G., Pelikan, J., Slonska, Z., & Brand, H.  (2012). Health literacy and public health: a systematic review and integration of definitions and models. BMC public health, 12(1), 80.
Shitu, Z., Hassan, I., Aung, M. M. T., Kamaruzaman, T. H. T., & Musa, R. M. (2018). Avoiding medication errors through effective communication in healthcare environment. Malaysian Journal of Movement, Health & Exercise, 7(1).
Weller, J., Boyd, M., & Cumin, D. (2014). Teams, tribes and patient safety: overcoming barriers to effective teamwork in healthcare. Postgraduate medical journal, 90(1061), 149-154.
Silverman, J., Kurtz, S., & Draper, J. (2016). Teaching and learning communication skills in medicine. CRC press.

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