it is always an obvious occurrence that where people interact, they tend to adopt a form of communication for various reasons. In the health care setting, communication is essential and is aim at quality health care service provision to the patient to have the best health outcome. Of note is that The communication varies with the setting, and the individuals involved. Adoption of the appropriate communication practices is a requirement in the healthcare provision process where the healthcare provider, patient, and sometimes the relatives to the patient are involved. By communicating effectively, one easily avoids medical errors, ensures continuity of care, interprofessional collaboration in health care delivery, all aiming at patient safety. Effective communication ensures maximization of output as a good working environment serves as a motivation. Communication is effective when the appropriate strategies are put in place to deal with any barriers encountered.
An acute care setting, in most cases, is used to refer to the department offering care to patients who are critically ill or injured. In most cases, the communication of the patient is compromised in one way or another, thus the need to use either communication aids or the relatives to acquire basic information about the patient hence the shift from patient-centred care to family-centered care. The information must be interpreted from the reporter rather than the patient’s view. The feedback on the care given is obtained from the caregiver or the relatives; thus, patient satisfaction may not be used in assessing the quality of care (Vermeir et al., 2015). Communication needs a lot of patience and empathy to be able to deal with the anxiety of the acutely developed condition. There is also intense utilization of interprofessional communication as discussions aid in coming up with the treatment regime where every health care provider’s role is considered to ensure patient safety, quality care and achieve the best health outcomes.
Potential barriers to communication
During the interaction between the health care provider and the patient, there tend to be some factors that hinder communication. The acuity of the condition serves as a hindrance due to the impaired sensory and cognitive aspects in that they might not be in a position to communicate their wishes and even contribute to the care offered to them. In other cases, the treatment regimens that one is under may impair their communication ability, such as patients being put under sedation. Language barriers in other cases may present where the patient can only communicate in their first language, which the health care provider might not be in a position to comprehend (Tiwary et al., 2019). Low literacy levels coupled with cultural differences may contribute to most disagreements, thus forming the root of ignorance, which comes with a lot of resistance to any medical advice offered (Brady et al., 2017). An individual’s culture informs their beliefs, values, and perspectives. Stress levels and emotional state affects an individual’s ability to make an independent decision and thus might end up agreeing with every statement made rather than mutually engaging in a conversation that aims at arriving at a more convenient option.
Utilizing interdisciplinary team
For the health care provided to be approved to be efficient, all the disciplines have to be part of the process. By so doing, the different professionals can solve sophisticated patient care problems. The nurse, as the patient’s advocate, has to engage the concerned personnel to participate in the care process as well as making decisions on the best regimens required to achieve the desired goals and patient outcomes. In a case where a patient presents with cerebrovasculara accident in a patient with chronic kidney injury, the different specialists such as cardiologists, nutritionists, pharmacists, and the nurse have to work collaboratively in the immediate care of such a patient. In the continuous care that the patient receives, the nurse is tasked with providing a review of the plan of care during the ward rounds to ensure any deviations from the targeted outcome are dealt with before complications can set in. it is during these sessions that the multidisciplinary team make their contributions of their services in coming up with an amended and updated plan of care (Busari et al., 2017). During the discharge plan of this patient, the nurse has to ensure take home information from all these specialists is provided as part of the discharge plan to ensure that such incidences are prevented from happening. The appropriate communication skills come in handy in these situations to ensure the patient receives the best quality care. In research studies carried out in the acute care setting, the healthcare workers can work as a team to come up with comprehensive findings aimed at quality improvement.
Personal communication strategies
For communication to go on well, those involved must develop trust in one another. In such an instance, the nurse has to communicate in a manner that ensures the creation of rapport so that the patient opens up freely without any fear. The nurse will therefore be able to collect as much information as possible and thus come up with the appropriate prognosis due to the interpersonal connection created. The patient actively participates in their ongoing care. Patient empowerment is another aspect that can be achieved through health education. during the education session, paraphrasing tries to clarify information (Marshall & Hurtig, 2019). the patient becomes more knowledgeable about their condition, have an idea of the available treatment option that they can undergo thus are in a position to make decisions. The teach-back sessions contribute to the build-up of confidence and alleviates fear. Through a power of attorney, the closest relative can be chosen to make decisions of seriously ill individual. In other cases, an interpreter may be used to ensure that the patient concerns are put forward.
For communication to be effective, it is clear that those involved have to be equipped with some skills such as listening skills. These skills help in dealing with the common barriers ranging from impaired cognition to language and cultural diversity. The appropriate strategies have to be upheld to deal with some of the causes of ineffective communication. Respect has to be upheld to avoid conflicts as a way of protection, especially for the individual who feel inferior which in this case is the patient. The hospital setting provides an arena of interaction of different health care professionals who interact with the patient at different times depending on the presenting needs of the patient The communication process will allow for smooth running of activities with inclusion with compliance which has good patient outcomes. It is essential to note that the communication strategy applied in one situation may not suit another in the different departments due to variation in both the information shared and the persons involved.
Brady, A.-M., Byrne, G., Quirke, M. B., Lynch, A., Ennis, S., Bhangu, J., & Prendergast, M. (2017). Barriers to effective, safe communication and workflow between nurses and non-consultant hospital doctors during out-of-hours. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 29(7), 929–934. https://doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzx133.
Busari, J., Moll, F., & Duits, A. (2017). Understanding the impact of interprofessional collaboration on the quality of care: a case report from a small-scale resource-limited health care environment. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, Volume 10, 227–234. https://doi.org/10.2147/jmdh.s140042.
Marshall, S., & Hurtig, R. R. (2019). Developing a culture of successful communication in acute care settings: Part I. Solving patient-specific issues. Perspectives of the ASHA special interest groups, 4(5), 1028-1036. DOI:10.1044/2019_PERS-SIG12-2019-0016.
Tiwary, A., Rimal, A., Paudyal, B., Sigdel, K. R., & Basnyat, B. (2019). Poor communication by health care professionals may lead to life-threatening complications: examples from two case reports. Wellcome Open Research, 4, 7. https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15042.1.
Vermeir, P., Vandijck, D., Degroote, S., Peleman, R., Verhaeghe, R., Mortier, E., Hallaert, G., Van Daele, S., Buylaert, W., & Vogelaers, D. (2015). Communication in healthcare: a narrative review of the literature and practical recommendations. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 69(11), 1257–1267. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijcp.12686.