Essay about Communication

1499 Words6 Pages
This assignment discusses barriers to, and methods of, effective communication with people who are confused by reflecting on my experience in communicating with an elderly confused patient. Specifically, and within the scope of this assignment, I reflect on two methods of effective communication with elderly confused patients; one verbal (reality orientation) and one non-verbal (touch). During my first placement I was asked to assist in the care of Elsie (pseudonym), an 86 year old lady admitted to hospital with a fracture to her hip and a urinary tract infection (UTI). Elsie was suffering from frequent periodic episodes of confusion; however this was not due to a diagnosed cognitive disorder. Manos and Braun (2006) and Keenan (2011a)…show more content…
I felt helpless as I didn’t know how to help Elsie understand what I was communicating and for me to understand Elsie. I felt more anxious when Elsie became tearful because I felt that my inability to effectively communicate with her had caused her to become upset. Langland and Panicucci (1982) say that using effective communication is vital for establishing the nurse-client relationship, and particularly important with the elderly confused patient in helping them make choices and in providing direction and/or supervision in self-care. In providing nursing care, the Department of Health (DoH) Essence of Care report on communication says that health professionals should ensure that “people and their carers experience effective communication” (DoH, 2010, p.7) with a best practice benchmark that “appropriate and effective methods are used to enable people and carers to communicate” (DoH, 2010, p.8). Additionally, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) say that we must “make arrangements to meet people's language and communication needs” (NMC, 2008, p.3). The communication barrier I experienced may have been due to Elsie’s lack of ability to process or understand what I was saying or an inability to express herself verbally. Bowlby (1991) and Miller et al. (1996) say that some of the
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