The
first assignment set out by the University is based on how we communicate in
different nursing areas at different levels. Part of the research task involved
researching communication and working together in a group and commenting on
articles researched by my peers.

The
article I chose to analyse during this process is “Nurse Handover: Patient and Staff
Experiences” (Bruton et al 2016). The article is related to different types of
handovers in between medical professionals. The nurse’s handover in between
shifts is an act of transferring clinical responsibility alongside medical
information to oncoming staff. While reading the article I learnt that patients
preferred to be kept up to date about their treatment (Lu et al 2014). According to the qualitative
study, interviews revealed that patients found this as an opportunity to be
introduced to their nurses, they feel secure to know what is happening and they
get a chance to learn about themselves (Bruton et al 2016). The article made me
aware that bedside handover can sometimes make the patients feel uncomfortable
as their information is being shared and discussed openly in front of others. The
article has helped me remember that at times of handover it should be done
confidentially to avoid patient discomfort and the leak of sensitive
information.  

An
article that was posted by a peer member was “Palliative Care Communication in
Oncology Nursing” (Goldsmith et al 2012). It was about how to care for
palliative patients and how to support their family according to the eight
domains of quality of palliative care in the National Consensus Project (Colby
et al 2001). While reading the article I have understood how oncology nurses
highly value communication within the palliative care environment. They are
empathic and supportive towards patients who are receiving long term palliative
care. The article has helped me identify the way to communicate with patients
and their families and how to provide moral support and comfort them in their
time of distress. The article also showed how palliative nurses take time to
listen to patients attentively with a positive attitude to fulfil their
holistic needs.

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Another
article I read from the web-based discussion group is “Management of pain in
cardiac ICU patients: Have we improved over time?” (Gelinas 2007) I found the
article informative and well presented. While reading the article I discovered
that after open heart surgery patients are sent to the ICU for recovery. Due to
this major operation patient’s ability to communicate are limited. As the text
suggests “Patients communicated
the presence of pain by signals with their eyes, facial expressions or hand
motions” (Gelinas 2007).

The
type of communication used in my area of working is different as patients are
less acute and they can easily inform the nurse if they are in pain. According
to Carr (1990) patients did not let medical staff know they were in pain unless
prompted, this is still the case in the 21st century (Gelinas 2007).
As I work on a cardiac ward where I prepare patients for heart surgery, the
article educated me in ensuring I inform patients to ask for painkillers after
surgery.

The final article posted by a member of the
group was “Minimising breast cancer related lymphedema” (Acebedo 2014). It was
an interesting article that thoroughly explained the causes and treatments for
lymphedema, however while reading the article I found it extremely difficult to
find the link between communication and the article. Regardless of this, the
article helped to broaden my knowledge that lymphedema is caused by radiation
or chemotherapy that previously treated breast cancer (Smoot et al 2010). I
also discovered that the complete decongestive therapy is considered as the
gold standard in treating breast cancer (Chang and Cormier 2013).

Part
of this task involved assessing and leaving feedback on the articles chosen by
each of the peer members. According to Shclisselberg and Mouscou (2011) this process enabled them to
improve academically. The comments posted about the article by group members
helped me understand other perspectives, it also helped me see important points
that I had not noticed when reading the articles myself. Commenting on others
articles helped me to be more open with my viewpoints and helped me feel more
open to sharing my ideas. Other members also shared their comments on how
effective and genuine the article is and what theory is not reliable in
practice. The exercise has allowed me to be more open to new ideas and to accept
criticism, I might find something positive whereas a peer member can justify
how it can be negative. A challenge I encountered was not all members engaged
in analysing and commenting in the group. An example of what I learned through
peer discussion is that when I analysed my chosen article I failed to notice
that the research was only done in a single trust which affected the validity
of the research. A group member then pointed out that the weakness of the
article was that the data had not been collected from a wide range of sources
(Rosewell 2017).  

My
learning and appreciation for communication within my healthcare setting has
developed greatly since I have engaged in this task. I have benefitted from the
understanding of others and I can look for the possibility to bring techniques
used within the articles and suggested by others into my own area of practice.
An example of this would be, supporting relatives who are about to lose a
family member. I am always stressed about the way I approach them, but
essential points and guidelines in the “Palliative Care Communication in
Oncology Nursing” (Goldsmith et al  2012)
such as comforting patients and
having an empathic approach has helped make me feel more confident to deal with
those circumstances. My participation in this activity has developed my
learning as I have learnt how to independently work with others without the
regular supervision of a teacher (Christians and Bell 2010). This has enabled
me to positively transfer strategies and to develop critical thinking skills
which can help in future peer discussions.

To
conclude, the task set allowed me to explore different areas of communication
within the nursing environment. This was done by reading and analysing
different articles and providing feedback to my peer members. The task also helped
broaden my knowledge on how to communicate within a peer group and share ideas.
The articles researched were extremely informative and have helped me expand my
knowledge about other health issues, communication barriers and how to tackle
them. It also helped me gain an insight on how I can develop my communication
within my healthcare setting. 

 

 

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