If you or a loved one has ever experienced an affliction that involves a hospital stay, you know that the hospital setting can be a very frightening experience. When a hospitalization is involved, it is not uncommon to feel as though you have lost all control. It is a setting where people feel helpless and immobile, while having no idea what is in store for their near future. Many patients, especially elderly people, upon admission to a hospital, will experience disorientation in their new environment and may become uncooperative (Grace.) This is when effective communication is needed the most.
During the summer months, I spend forty hours a week working at the Faxton-St. Lukes Health center. I am a care attendant in the Operating Room. As part of my job, I have the responsibility of retrieving patients from another floor and delivering them to the surgery unit. Surgery is a very intimidating thing and I am in contact with the patient when they are most frightened. I have learned a great deal from interpersonal communication and have come to realize that all I have learned, will be able to be put to good use this upcoming summer. I am certain that the skills I have acquired in this course will better prepare me to communicate effectively with the patients and make their hospital experience less fearsome. I am now more excited to communicate with people I know and don’t know. This summer, I will constantly be evaluating myself in many different scenarios of communication within a hospital setting. I will use my new skills, not just with the patients, but with my colleagues in the Operating Unit as well.
Everybody in a hospital setting is competent in each of the important areas of communication. However, the better communicators perform these skills at a higher level. Our ability to accurately read and interpret messages is just as important as our ability to send messages. High quality communication depends on skill behaviors and knowledge of the task at hand. Many hospital workers do not exert the proper vitality that is needed to be a successful communicator. Most take advantage of the naïve and vulnerable patients and think they can get away with putting less effort into an interaction. What we DO depends on what we KNOW.
Arguably the most critical component to high quality communication is attitude. Starting with affect I can make reference to how my attitude can impact my communication in the hospital. This is the stage in which an individual recognizes the significance or value of the communication opportunity that is being presented. Being a Care Attendant, the first thing a patient notices is your attitude. In most scenarios, the patient is not going to have a blissful attitude. That makes it even more important for me to walk into that room with a positive outlook on the situation. Many patients will even act hostile or unkind towards me as I greet them. I need to check my ego at the door and maintain an affirmative...