The purpose of this task is to produce a reflective account of a work based incident using Gibbs model of reflection. The reflection will be based on communication skills in the ward setting. To maintain confidentiality of the patient in this reflection they will be known as Mrs X, in accordance with the NMC code of conduct (2008). Mrs X was an elderly lady admitted to the ward for rehabilitation. It became clear from the morning nurse handing over that Mrs X had been very ‘difficult’ to nurse. The nurse went on to describe Mrs X as aggressive and rude and that she had tested her patience.
Mrs X had also been refusing to eat. On leaving handover the aim was to try and persuade Mrs X to eat. The handover indicated a negative character of Mrs X, which lead to assumptions to be made before meeting her and a feeling of apprehension. On approaching Mrs X and questioning her about eating she simply shouted “No. ” A different communication approach seemed necessary. This involved, moving closer towards her, lowering to eye level, and changing tone of voice, a conversations began. She confessed she hadn’t eaten because she didnt like any of the options she’d been offered and she liked bananas.
On explaining to Mrs X that a banana was available and would she like one, Mrs X’s body language softened. She made eye contact, smiled and consented to this. The nursing handover is considered to be a crucial part of providing quality care (Pothier et al, 2005). However Sexton et al. (2004) explains that sometimes during handover, nurses discuss patients in terms that are derogatory. On evaluation, the handover from the nurse was very unprofessional and the nurse’s communication skills also seemed to be lacking.
Although this is a very negative situation a positive outcome allowed effective communication skills and appropriate body language to be used resulting in Mrs X’s nutritional needs being met. In conclusion it can be seen that the registered nurse has a very important role in communicating in handover and that this can make a big impact on how other staff make preconceived judgments. If this situation was to arise again, the nurse’s attitude would be questioned at an earlier stage and for professional opinions to be made once the patient had been met.