Communication Between Patient And Nurse Essay

871 words - 3 pages

While taking care of my patient on the cardiothoracic intensive care unit, I assisted another nurse who was helping her seventy-one year old patient ambulate to promote circulation and decrease the patient’s chance of developing pneumonia. It also helps the patient to build strength and confidence after such a major surgery like this patient underwent. This patient had come in with non-ischemic cardiomyopathy and had a history of cocaine and alcohol abuse, atrial fibrillation, mitral regurgitation, and hypertension. She had a left ventricular assistive device placed, and ten days after the device had been placed, she was diagnosed with H1N1, had a tracheostomy performed, and was placed on the ventilator. Since she had to wear a mask when outside of her room and had a tracheostomy, it was really difficult to understand the patient’s needs, and this was very concerning to me.
If the nurse is unable to understand the needs of the patient, the patient is at risk. Grossbach, Stranberg, and Chlan (2011) state that “difficulties with communication often cause anxiety, frustration, and fear in patients.” (p. 47). Patients in the intensive care unit are already under an extensive amount of stress due to the criticalness of their illness, and they do not need to experience more stress because that can slow down the healing process. Therefore, it is pertinent to find alternative ways to effectively communicate with your patient when there are barriers, such as this patient had.
The nurse who I assisted to ambulate this patient was much more knowledgeable about the strategies developed to communicate with this patient than I was. When the nurse communicated with this patient, she spoke directly to the patient where the patient was able to see her lips and asked one question at a time. She made sure there was proper lightning and tried to ensure that the background noise was kept to a minimum in the room to enhance communication. She maintained eye contact when communicating with the patient and attempted to identify the topic to begin asking questions related to what the patient was trying to communicate. The nurse also recognized the patient’s facial expressions and was able to identify the patient’s concerns. For example, the patient’s husband stayed in the room while we helped the patient ambulate, and the patient thought that her husband was walking behind her. When the patient looked behind her and had a concerning look on her face, the nurse quickly recognized that the patient was looking for her husband and assured her that he was in the room waiting for her. Lastly, I noticed that this nurse communicated with this patient by reading her lips, but this was only in...

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