Today, nurses and midwives in their professional practice need to communicate in many different ways, maintain an open minded attitude that will allow for superior preparation in nursing assessments and in practice and provide person centred care. They are also required to demonstrate their capacity to think critically about issues, organise ideas logically, take action and reflect on that action to implement continuous improvement in future situations.
Emotional intelligence is the foundation for reflective practice; therefore the aim of this paper is to outline the importance of having a clear and concise understanding of the skills mentioned and continuously expanding knowledge throughout studies and ensures this continues into and throughout a career in the health care domain. Verbal communication is the transmitted information from one to another, or to many, in the form of spoken words or written text (Hillege & Groome, 2007).
However, there are many other options to transmit information if verbal communication does not benefit the situation. Non-verbal forms such as touch, facial expressions, posture, gait, gestures, sound and a person’s subjective data are also forms of communications which are vital to the medical scope. I feel strongly towards the importance of recognizing all areas of communication and believe non-verbal communication is helpful and can bare more truth despite what the verbal language indicates. Nurse-patient interaction is the pulse of nursing
(American Society of Registered Nurses, 2007). Verbal communication is used extensively when providing care, however, when verbal transitions not clear due to language barriers, other avenues of gaining information must be sourced. Awareness of this in nursing practice, together with skilled perception to decipher and piece together a patient’s source of distress by acknowledging what messages the body is convening and what is being said and with that to treat the patient effectively.
Lewis & Foley (2010) stated that there are many aspects to conducting a health assessment. Two of these are preparation and collecting data. I feel that the involvement in understanding and performing these assessments correctly is more complicated than I initially thought. The patient’s biographical data, subjective data and the equipment needed for the nurse to collect such information must all be considered in preparation for the assessment to be precise, paramount and to maintain the person centeredness towards the patient’s own self values.
Nurses and midwives need to show respect to the patient’s holistic health (Blackman, 2010). By applying this concept to my nursing practice, it will help me to develop an accurate health assessment. Person-Centered care sees that the patient plays an equal part in planning, developing and assessing their care plan to make sure it is concise with their needs (Dempsey, 2009). It involves considering the patients holistic health and social determinates and putting patients and their families at the center of all
decisions. I feel that it is imperative that the patient feels secure and respected by the health care professionals that have instilled trust through their own emotional intelligence. Modern day demands of nursing depend on the skills of emotional intelligence which then achieves person centred care (American society of Registered Nursing, 2007). By applying these concepts in my daily nursing practice I am working towards gaining the most positive foundation for an individuals’ care to take place with positive outcomes. Stance and expression show sincerity towards a patient.
Appearance, facial expressions, attitude, ability to listen and remain silent allowing the patient to talk openly indicate professionalism and show a nurses’ demeanor to the patient (Lewis & Foley, 2010). I feel that these are important skills to develop as a health care professional. It is critical as a nurse that we are aware of our non-verbal language and that it portrays a message that complements the verbal communication.
Non-verbal interactions play a vital role in nurse-patient perceptions (Blackman, 2011). Displaying neutral expression is not incorrect, rather it can allow for appropriate expression inside the zone of helpfulness. When interacting with patients in the clinical scene I now know the importance of maintaining professional demeanor towards them. Lewis and Foley (2010) stated that through stages of life, consideration and opinion of one’s self is developed through a combination of others’ attitudes and the internalised understanding of ideal self. These factors can have positive or
negative effects on the development and stability of self-concept. I feel that it is important to recognise a persons’ sensitivity to influence on both the care giver and receivers end. Influences are ever changing depending on a person’s faith, socio-economical positioning, interpersonal relationships and emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence has grown in popularity among nurses over the last two decades, generating interest both at a social and professional level (American Society of Registered Nurses, 2007). I, as a nurse, must have emotional intelligence in order to reflect it back on patients, thus stimulating their own positive self-concept and avoiding emotional down scale which could have otherwise caused them to suffer inadequate care.
As nurses and midwives we must demonstrate confidence in understanding that the specific data that needs to be collected underpins the decisions and actions in creating a health care plan for on a patient (Dempsey & Wilson, 2009). It is critical to remain free from prejudice in the clinical scene and consistently motivate an individual’s needs and put ethical principles into action.
I now feel more aware that my prejudicial judgments can have acute impacts on an individual’s self-concept. Leiniger (1988) stated that nurses must acquire knowledge of the ‘others’ culture in order to provide care that is culturally congruent for the client. Freedom of prejudice enables nurses to seek new information to broaden understanding thus obtaining correct insight to tailor individual action planning that suits the needs of the patient.
A nurse’s primary responsibility is conducting a health assessment and collecting patient data (Lewis and Foley, 2010). During data collection, elements of critical thinking establish the determinants for the action to follow. I feel nervous that, my initial assessment on a patient will determine the proceedings of the action plan toward the patients’ treatment and it is expected that nurses demonstrate the knowledge and ability to grow and gain further knowledge through clinical practice and reflection.
American Society of Registered Nursing (2007) stated that nurses should develop skills to assess patient’s responses to the illness. Furthermore, every patient differs and has different attitudes on various issues of life and has various levels of understanding and coping capabilities. Knowing the essential elements of critical thinking that underpin nursing assessments and applying them in clinical judgments enables me as a student nurse to have the confidence to conduct assessments and collect data correctly.
Lewis and Foley (2010) pointed out that professional registered nurses or midwives are expected to be able to analyse his or her own practice through reflection. Self-awareness is the foundation of reflective practice thus identifying nurses own needs and seeking supportive networks encourages professional growth and heightened self-awareness. I feel that reflective practice is paramount for any nurse and midwife of any level of experience so that patient’s needs are always met with modern effective treatment and a high quality of care. Today, emotional intelligence is probed as an important characteristic of building
successful nursing leadership and enhancing performance (American Society of Nursing 2007) and is now recognised as a requirement for formal authority to practice under the registration, therefore, vitalizing nursing conduct and reducing job related stress. Understanding the importance of reflectiveness, I can implement this practice into my studies and continue practicing into my nursing career. Nurses and other health care professionals must recognise the importance of understanding the fundamentals discussed above and apply them in the health care industry, implementing them precisely to ensure that the focus is on the patient’s holistic health.
This ensures that the patient feels informed, empowered by superior communication that places them at the control centre of the decision making of their treatment and ensures that the most positive foundation for an individuals’ care is established, resulting in a positive outcome. Reflecting on that outcome, despite it being positive or negative, constructing continuous improvement and implementing those improvements in future similar scenarios further down ones career line, assists a nurse to ensure effective communication takes place at all times.
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Hearne, C. (2009). Self-concept. In J. Dempsey, J. French, S. Hillege, & V. Wilson (Eds.), Fundamentals of nursing and midwifery: A person- centred approach to care (p. 440-442). Sydney, Australia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Hillege, S & Groome, M. (2009). Communication. In J. Dempsey, J. French, S. Hillege & V. Wilson (Eds.), Fundamentals of nursing and midwifery: A person-centred approach to care (p. 119-120). Sydney, Australia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Lewis, P., & Foley, D. (Eds), (2011). Collecting subjective data. In P. Lewis & D.
Foley, Weber & Kelly’s: health assessment in nursing (1st Australian and New Zealand edition) (p. 10-11). Sydney, Australia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Lewis, P., & Foley, D. (Eds), (2011). The nurses role in health care assessment: Collecting and analyising data. In P. Lewis & D. Foley, Weber & Kelly’s: health assessment in nursing (1st Australian and New Zealand edition) (p. 6). Sydney, Australia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Lewis, P., & Foley, D. (Eds), (2011). Analysing data using critical thinking skills. In P. Lewis & D. Foley, Weber & Kelly’s: health assessment in nursing (1st Australian and New Zealand edition) (p. 51-52). Sydney, Australia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
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