Communication is the complex process of sending and receiving verbal information. The communication process plays a very important role in the profession of nursing. Daily the nurses have to deal with a huge number of patients of diverse background. Some belong to educated background and understands thing very well but some are not educated, and for them understanding and communicating with the medical staff is very difficult so it is the responsibility of the nurses to improve their skills to such an extent that communicating with people of all sorts become possible for them. The communication could be verbal or nonverbal like by the use of expressions or jesters etc. The discussion among the nurses and the patients is conducted usually in a very hectic atmosphere; both the patients and nurses are in an urgency as a result of which unwanted issues may arise. The directions are often delivered to the patients on the phones rather than face to face. In the cases of emergency the communication skills gain very high importance as the decision about the procedure has to be made immediately but sometimes the patient nurse interaction is delayed too much as a result of which serious consequences could be faced. In order to avoid the problems in communication some strategies have been discussed in this paper. One technique to attain this objective is by the use of strategies which are being used by other industries and have been very effective like team resource management. It is a training course which has been designed by the aviation business. It emphasizes on combined decision making and team oriented approaches. The most excellent patient care can be provided when the nurses are accessible at all times. By the use of equipments like background-assessment-recommendation (SBAR), it is guaranteed that the delivered messages are very clear and not ambiguous in any kind of stressful situation (Leonard, Graham & Bonacum, 2004). U-nursing is also very effective in improving the patient nurse communication. The SWOT analysis is also given in the proposal. The above mentioned plans could be implemented easily. Some are not time consuming like changing the behavior and attitude of the nurses however some of them needs time like installation of wireless equipments.
If the nurses lack the skills for good communication the above mentioned tasks becomes really difficult to handle. In order to deal with patients who have diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds and having different levels of knowledge, communication becomes a big challenge to the health care providers. Health care providers especially the nurses have always been very keen to advance the communication skills so that they can progress to better patients care services. In nursing, a heavy amount of information has to be provided and received in a narrow time period. In order to do this perfectly and smoothly the communication settings, history experiences and individual opinion of the people must be considered very deeply. So the communication enhancements mentioned above will prove to be very successful. From this study we have come to know that when you move toward alteration with a patient-centered attitude, the finest decisions are obvious.
Table of Contents
Communication means relocation of the information amongst the people. The nursing job involves continuous communication between the patients, their relatives and the nurses. The chances of miscommunication in this profession are very high which can lead to serious consequences. For nurses it is really important that they should be aware of key communicating process and the height to risks and problems that they can come across as a result of miss-communication. It is important to have clear communication with patients especially for those nurses who are involved in collection of patient history. They should be aware of the art of educating the patients giving them the needed emotional help (Munhill, 2007, p.452).
According to a report at Institute of Medicine, it has now been an established fact that secure and trustworthy relationship between a patient and the health care provider (especially nurse) depends upon healthy and good communication (Leonard, Graham & Bonacum, 2004; Viney et al., 2006). Usually the goal of the health care providers is to achieve more in a smaller amount time as a result of which their relations with patients suffer. In this proposal we are going to discuss about how communications between the patients and the nurses can be improved in order to have a healthy and fruitful relationship.
Analysis of change needed
Efficient communication between the patients and health care providers especially nurses is a very important area in the hospital management but it is hampered by different problems. The discussion with the patients is conducted usually in a very busy environment; both the patients and nurses are in a hurry as a result of which undesirable issues are raised. Communication with the patients is mostly carried out through answering machines instead of having a direct interaction. According to the leadership theory as presented by Fred Fiedler suggests that “effective group performance depended upon the proper match between a leader’s style of interacting with his or her followers and the degree to which situation allowed the leader to control and influence” (Robbins & Coulter, 2008, p. 493). It is often argued that in a hospital setting, in-charge nurse is often lacking required competencies in relation to communicating with patients that represent a barrier in efficient leadership. One of the prime reasons being their promotion from the clinical nurse thus they are apt at dealing with medical issues but ill equipped to be regarded as a good communicator with patients (Connelly et al., 2003, p.298). Their relationship should be “relationship oriented” instead of focusing solely on routine tasks.
Similarly “path-goal theory” as devised by Robert House also favours leader role to be more supportive, providing direction to relevant others (Robbins & Coulter, 2008, p.498). A study conducted in United States of America concluded that 90% of the faults in patient analysis result from poor communication between the patients and the health care providers. Different sort of parameters like lack of sleep or proper rest, long duty hours, other part time jobs, personal issues or family concerns may have serious effects on the ability of nurses to interact with the patients. Therefore the present challenge is to develop an environment which is comfortable for nurses so that they can easily perform their job.
One method to achieve this goal is by applying the strategies which have been adapted by industries working beyond provision of medical aid. Team resource management as constructed by aviation department could also bring desired outcomes. The strategy helps to direct all efforts towards equal participation in decision making, leading a team focused behavioral approach.
The best patient care can be provided when the nurses are can be easily contacted in case of any issue during patient’s stay at the hospital. By using different electronic gadgets like situation-background-assessment-recommendation (SBAR), such methods help to convey lucid messages between both nurses and patients to overcome the challenging situation (Leonard, Graham & Bonacum, 2004). It is stated that many nurses save around 20 to 40 minutes every day if they have immediate contact with the specialists. Most of the hospitals of the Unites States still use the old weird telephone systems which not only waste time but also may lead to miscommunication. A new communication technology like that of ‘Dalcon Alert’can provide a solution to this problem. It is a wireless technology and by the use of it the patients, nurses, staff and the physicians can stay in contact with each other all the time, while even on move. A study showed that 70 to 80 percent of time could be saved each day by the use of this technology. The technology also provides direct alerts to the nurses on their devices (Kohn, Corrigan & Donaldson, 2000). Another method is to employ the U-Nursing technique. By U – Nursing we mean that the nurses are available to all the organizations and institutes at all the time by using the facilities from information technology. The SWOT analysis about this nursing technique is given below (Murray, 2007, p.32).
User friendly and Less time consuming
Expert advice avail all the time
Infrastructure is very safe and secure
International quality standards maintained
Enhance the communication between the patients and the nurses
The setup costs are very high
Nurses are not yet very much trained to use this system
Lack of support and backup infrastructure
Research studies will be facilitated
Technology development in nursing profession
If goes successful , could be applied to all the hospitals and has just one time setup costs
Holistic and Humanized
System breakdowns by attack of viruses leading to data loss
High dependency on the information technology
Intellectual proprietary issues
Be short of leadership in nursing
Misuse of personal information of patients and loss of privacy
Ignorant patients may be misguided
Plan of Action
The plan of action for the above mentioned analysis is as follows:
First the working hours of the nurses would be discussed and adjusted accordingly so that they can work attentively and efficiently and this will be done immediately. The salary structure would be revised so that there would be no need for part time jobs.
Recognize any hindrances which may hamper the communication like can the patient converse in English easily or not? If not the nurse should arrange for an interpreter. If the hearing ability of the patient is not well, hearing aid should be provided.
Training courses for the nurses would be arranged regarding communication skills so that they can improve their communication with the patients and the physicians.
Infrastructure for the U-Nursing plan would be arranged. For this purpose letters would be written to higher authorities at the hospital or even the government level if required so that the funds could be provided. Once the approval is received for such plan then nurses would be trained for the use of such facilities.
In hospital equipment would be updated like the use of wireless technologies to be implemented so that the wastage of time could be prevented. The patients would be able to communicate with the nurses through wireless gadgets at all the times so that emergency situations can be dealt with ease and efficiency.
The real time monitoring strategies about these new things will be applied. The amendment trials are fruitful when they are structured keeping in view the present situation and are visible with healthy results. They are made on the existing method of doing things, are visible and have positive outcomes (Greenhalgh et al., 2004; Rye & Kimberly, 2007). The study would be evaluated by noticing the change in the general attitude of nurses, their change in appearance and social dealings. The qualitative and quantitative data will be used. For the qualitative data general observations will be done on the communication changes between nurses and the patients and for the qualitative data questionnaires will be given to the patients and they will be asked about the improvement in the communication skills of the nurses. They will be asked about the benefits or demerits of the use of wireless technology implemented in the hospital. If the patients provide us with the positive feedback this will mean the change is a success.
The immediate problem and challenge in the health care industry is to manage and develop an environment which provides effective and transparent communication system between the patients and the health care workers especially nurses as they are the most frequent ones to come across with the patients. It is anticipated that the above mentioned changes will bring a positive and healthy change in the hospital environment and the communication skills of the nurses will be improved. Especially when the nurses will be trained accordingly the patients would definitely feel a positive change in the hospitals. It is wisely said that half of the illness of the patient is cleared out immediately when he is treated nicely by the health care provider.