Critiquing Communication and Interviewing Skills

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Critiquing communication and interviewing skills of a health assessment interview with a client

Communication is one of the basic survival skills of human and also a fundamental part of nursing. Effective communication would help to promote a positive nurse-client relationship which is crucial for the delivery of quality nursing care (Sheppard, 1993; McCabe 2003).

Health assessment is also vital in collecting information in the nursing process. In order to collect data in a systematic and standardized approach, and enable the nurse to determine different aspects of health and human function, the Gordon Functional Health Patterns which have 11 categories are usually used as a framework of the assessment. The pattern named “sexuality and reproduction” is being chosen as the focus of this assignment. The assessment of this pattern focuses on the person's satisfaction or dissatisfaction with sexuality patterns and reproductive functions. Also, concerns with sexuality may be identified (Gordon, 1987). This assignment aims at equipping students to interview a client about his or her concerns with sexuality and reproduction effectively. A video-taped interview was made in order to review the communication skills being used. The performance was criticized with the aid of some references. Finally, the insights and reflections of the interview were shared.

Critique of the interview
All criticisms are based on the questions being asked and nurse-client interaction in the video tape. The whole set of questions as well as the background information of the client are listed in appendix 2 and appendix 1 respectively. Strengths observed in the interview

The nurse used appropriate icebreakers which are the words and phrases that can help to put the patient at ease, set the stage, and promote a relaxed situation. (Doenges , Moorhouse, 1992). For example, she asked the client “Do you feel cold here?” and “Do you want to go to the toilet first?” before directly referring to the actual interview questions. Therefore, she opened the interview well and smoothly.

Secondly, the nurse provided professional information of the breast self examination (BST) and the correct method to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) for the client. She also gave suggestions to the client to relieve pain during menstruation. By offering technical information and correcting client’s misconception of using diaphragm as prevention to STDs, the nurse successfully demonstrated her professionalism. As stated by Craven and Hirnle (2000), providing information would assist the client to become more aware of her body and how it functions.

Thirdly, a gentle touch was offered by the nurse when the client was crying. This helps to comfort the client as gentle touch is therapeutic and can signify support when used judiciously with messages of caring and comfort are accompanied with it (Barnum, Stevens, 1997; Dewit, 2001).

Fourthly, a few seconds of silence was given to the client when she cried. This allows client time to gather her thoughts and sort them out (Dewit, 2001). This act would also help the client to relieve some of her emotions.

Weaknesses analyzed from the interview
Giving false assurance was the major weakness of the nurse. By saying “your husband would not dump you” and “everything will be fine” would negate the patient’s feelings and may give false hope. The trust between the nurse and client would be destroyed when things turn out differently (Dewit, 2001). It would also demonstrate a lack of understanding when the client really has valid concerns. Poor sensitivity was another weakness of the nurse. When encountered with questions involving sensitive areas for the client such as questions about sexuality or behaviors which may lead to sexually transmitted diseases, the nurse often ignored the non-verbal cues of the clients such as the tears and other facial expressions of unhappiness. It is very important for the...
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