My Reflection on Nursing Communication

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Mr. Comer was admitted to his local community hospital for respite care. He has suffered multiple, acute strokes in the past, which has left him with severe disabilities. These include paralysis rendering him immobile, aphasia (speech loss) and dysphagia (swallowing difficulties). He relies on carers for all normal activities required for daily living (Roper et al 1996) and is advised to have a pureed diet and thickened fluids. My mentor asked me to observe her feeding Mr Comer. She had prepared my learning the week previously by providing literature on the subject of feeding elderly patients and discussion on safe practice for feeding patients with dysphagia. I was alarmed and unprepared for the physical sight of this patient,…show more content…
Critical analysis of this experience has pointed to the fact that I have inadequacies in my skills, to identify covert and overt clues provided by Mr. Comer to his needs. I had focussed too much on the presenting task to feed him, with my mind occupied on his safety due to the nature of his swallowing problems. I had not considered his other needs like his wishes or desires and I had not gathered enough personal information about him beforehand to know this (Davis & Fallowfield 1991). I had been unsure about what to say or do to alleviate Mr. Comer?s apparent anxieties and had adopted what Watson & Wilkinson (2001) describe as the blocking technique. By continuing my actions to carry on with the meal, I was cutting short the patients need to communicate a problem. I was influenced in this decision because I felt obliged to be seen to reduce his anxieties, knowing my actions would be judged by an audience of other care workers and patients on the ward. I did not respond efficiently to reduce his distress and this pressure led me to deal with the situation inadequately and for that I felt guilty (Nichols 1993). I should have allowed more time to understand what Mr. Comer was thinking and feeling by putting words to his vocal sounds and actions. I could have shown more empathy in the form of my own body language to promote active listening (Egan 2002) and not worried about other peoples views on my
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