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Health and wellness of people are really important in order to have a healthy life and everyone should have a responsibility to take care of oneself. Communication is one of the good ways to build a good relationship with other people. According to Jasmine (2009), the idea of communication is an essential part of every profession, and it is required to develop and maintain healthy relationships. The Oxford dictionary (1989, cited in Jasmine 2009) defines therapeutic as “curative, the art of healing; the branch of medicine concerned with treatment of disease and action of remedial agents in disease or health.” The word communicate means “to impart or transmit: to have social dealings with; to succeed in conveying information.” ‘These definitions illustrate the importance for nurses to have effective therapeutic communication skills in order to promote healing and recovery in the process’ (Jasmine 2009, p. 35). Communication is the major part of nursing and that the development of a nurse-patient relationship is essential for the delivery of quality health care’ (McCabe 2004, p. 41-2). This essay will explore on how nurses wisdom about communication and therapeutic practice encourage patients like Mr. Paul Bhatt to take an interest in their own self care. ‘Self-care refers to the activities that an individual undertakes to manage their condition’ (Crisp & Taylor 2009, p. 322). Patient-centred communication is defined by Langewitz et al. (1998, p 230 cited in Jasmine 2009) as ‘communication that invites and encourages the patient to participate and negotiate in decision-making regarding their own care’. Nurses should develop the ability to communicate well with patients such as Mr. Paul Bhatt in a patient-centred approach and with the effective use of attending behaviours. By doing this, patients will feel that they are not alone because someone is caring for them.
There are many different aspects of therapeutic communication that nurses could use to empower Mr. Paul Bhatt to participate in his own self care such as listening and exploring. Mr Bhatt has been labelled as non compliant. Non compliant patients are those people who do not follow proper and good clinical advice and non compliance of patience may lead to death. The best way to handle this is to develop the components of the nurse-patient relationship such as trust and genuine interest. Listening specifically means attending. Attending behaviour is the outward revelation of a nurse’s readiness to listen to the patients (Stein-Parbury 2005, p.97). ‘It involves good positioning posture, facial expression and eye contact, which manifests a nurse’s genuine interest in the patient’ (Jasmine 2009, p. 36-7). In Mr. Paul Bhatt’s situation, he doesn’t like to ask any questions as he doesn’t want his GP thinking that he’s not capable and besides his GP was always really busy and rushed which shows his GP’s task-oriented characteristic. The nurse could have a little time to talk to Mr. Paul Bhatt and listen to him whole-heartedly in a one on one conversation that maintains eye contact with him as he is speaking, allowing Mr. Bhatt to sense the nurse’s presence with him (Jasmine 2009, p37). Time is a gift you can always give to people, setting aside what is have to be done for a minute and take time listening to someone that needs your companion is a good way of showing interest to what they are sharing to you. This will allow the patient to open up comfortably to nurses because of showing them that you really care and eager to listen to them. Nurses should communicate regularly to patients so that everything is clear and they know about their illness and the outcome that might happen if not properly treated.
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Moreover, exploring is another aspect of therapeutic communication. Jasmine (2009) states that exploring is another important skill and it largely involves the use of effective questioning techniques, to probe deeper into the issues concerning a patient. ‘Questioning promotes a better understanding of the patient, and allows the development of a deeper nurse-patient relationship, vital in promoting therapeutic healing in patients’ (Jasmine 2009, p 37). Nurses should know the factors why patients are being non compliant. Like Mr Paul Bhatt social and personal factors are some of the reasons of his non compliance. He’s conforming to what his friends are doing; he’s taken up social smoking to parties and been drinking alcohol. Modifying risk factors and changing health behaviours could help him save the risk of dying from illness. ‘Personal factors that may be modified include habits and customs influenced by socialisation, such as diet, exercise and how leisure time is spent’ (Crisp & Taylor 2009, p. 93). Asking open-ended questions to patients would allow them to bring up and share their feelings, therefore serving its therapeutic practice.
‘Therapeutic communication skills are important for nurses to encourage healing in patients, but also physical and emotional well being of their patients’ (Jasmine 2009, p.38). “You cannot hope to communicate effectively if you do not care about the person on the receiving end’ (Morrison & Burnard 1997, p. 177, cited in Jasmine 2009). In Mr Paul Bhatt’s situation he is worried and doesn’t feel like he could discuss the complicated situation with anyone. ‘Therapeutic communication in nursing is to give the patients a sense of hope, a sense of tomorrow, and the reassurance that they are not alone’ (Jasmine 2009, p. 38). Giving them confidence to fight for their illness and that they can pull through.
According to McCabe (2004, p. 41) patient-centred communication is a basic component of nursing and facilitates the development of a positive nurse-patient relationship which, along with other organizational factors, results in the delivery of quality nursing care. Nurses should know the different factors that affects patient’s life, like what is bothering them or what makes them not to follow their clinical advice in order to solve the problem. ‘In order to establish a benchmark for effective nurse-patient communication it is essential to discover patients’ experiences and views’ (McCabe 2004, p. 42). Recognised nurse caring, knowledge and ability in connecting with people are required for the improvement of the nurse-patient relationship (Halldorsottir 2008, p. 643). Halldorsottir (2008, p. 648) states that if the quality of the relationship reaches ‘a life-giving nurse-patient relationship’ it strongly empowers the patient and makes a great difference for the patient’s perceived well-being and health. Therefore nurses should engage patients like Mr. Paul Bhatt in their own self care to have a good quality of life.
In conclusion, communication and nurse-patient relationship are the best therapeutic practices on how to deal with the non-compliant patients. Nurses are helping them not just to be physically healthy but emotionally as well. Learning about the reasons of their non-compliance and how to overcome those barriers would also help a great deal in solving their problem and to empower them to be part of their own self care.
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