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The relationship between caregiver and patient has a significant impact on treatment process. In some situations, it is difficult in communicating between the healthcare professional and the patient due to many factors such as the professionals perceptions, reactions or heavily emotions in the patient. According to Rosenberg and Calla-Silver (2011), using therapeutic communication effectively helps to increase understanding, establish rapport and reduce stress in both the caregiver and patient.
This reflective piece is based on the died vignette where the midwife has demonstrated her effectively therapeutic communication in dealing with the patient as well as patient’s family. The purpose of this reflection is to discuss some of techniques that are used during therapeutic communication. It also highlights the characteristics that currently possess and those I need to develop, in term of self-awareness and knowledge in the profession. The scenario is about Sally, who is 35 years old and 28 weeks pregnant.
She was rushed to the hospital to check her blood pressure and her baby after she lost consciousness at home as witnessed by her husband, David. On observation, she was hypertensive and there is history of stroke in the family. In order of making diagnose, Sally is required to do CT scan, which could harm the baby to check that she has a bleeding or stroke. The primarily concern of the couple was that what kind of dangerous might happen to their baby during CT scan and there is any better way to do.
When the midwife came, she resolved this concern and built rapport with the couple by using efficiency therapeutic communication. The first therapeutic communication technique that the midwife used is active listening. The study points out that active listening is an important communication skill in therapeutic field leading to patient’s satisfying through understanding and caring patient’s thought and feeling (Jar. , Bell, Mine, & Robinson, 2014). It involves many elements such as attending, clarifying and paraphrasing.
When the midwife came to the couple, she introduced herself and properly explained what she is going to perform. She demonstrated active listening through maintaining good eye contact and paraphrasing to confirm her understanding of the couple’s concern. In addition, she gave Sally the space o clarify her understanding of what has been said by reduce the contribution. Recognized that I have used active listening regularly while I am working as a waitress in the restaurant. Because some of Western customers have difficult to remember the Asian foods, therefore they try to describe how it looks like.
Sometimes, it is not easy to guess and makes me confuse. In those cases, I usually make eye contact and listen carefully to them as well as use questions to clarify their information. After that, I will paraphrase what they describe with more details that I have about the food. As the result, the customers satisfy with what I bring to them. Occasionally, I feel hard to keep the eye contact during a long dialogue due to my shyness, but I can practice more and more. Other techniques of therapeutic communication were used that are sharing empathy and proving information.
A number of studies suggest that perceived empathy can lead to better out comes, for example reducing patient’s anxiety and depression (Bouncing, Berlin, Blunt, Carroll, Rouse & Goldstein, 2009; Nabisco, 2011). It also has a directly impact on the success of healing process and treatment effectiveness. The midwife had shared empathy with the couple through her tone of voice and her body language. In order to making decision about medical care, patients must have knowledge of various treatments such as processing, benefits or risks (Jar. Malcolm, Roar & Epstein, 2009). The midwife achieved a shared understanding with the couple. She provide information about CT scan and explained how necessary of going through the procedure to check the health status of both mother and baby as well as avoid greater risk. Furthermore, the midwife has successful in building rapport by her confidence ND honest stating that she cannot guarantee anything. According to Stein- Bradbury (2014), guarantee does not assure that the patient will be empowered to deal with the situation until receiving confident evidence.
Being a nursing student, I would like to obtain those techniques, which are sharing empathy and quick respond with confidence and appropriately choice of words. If the nursing is not effective in therapeutic communication, it could affect the couple to be more anxious and distressed. In conclusion, the scenario has shown that using therapeutic communication has played an important role in health care. It affects significantly on the patient’s response and the healthcare professional – patient relationship.