Effective and Ineffective Communication
Where we come from, what we’ve experienced, our culture, our norms, our circle of friends, and our history all affect the ways in which we communicate with each other. What constitutes effective and ineffective communication? How do we assess what works as opposed to what doesn’t? Communication is vital not only to patient care but in collaborating as a team to ensure goals are achieved. In Contemporary Nursing, Cherry states that “effective communication is a foundational component of professional nursing practice.” (Cherry & Jacob, 2011, p. 381) When I think of communication in the clinical setting, two examples are always in my fore mind both of which happened in nursing school. I keep these experiences in mind because they have had a profound effect on the ways in which I communicate with my patients daily. My example of ineffective communication stems from a rotation I did in the ICU. I was apprehensive about going to the ICU. Was I ready? The patients were so acute and I was so inexperienced. I was filled with doubts and insecurity. The short version of this story entails an ICU nurse who was not aware she was getting a student and a shortage of computer tablets, so medications were pulled via a written paper brought to the pyxis. A patient was upset with medications he didn’t understand and the doctor had to be contacted. The doctor yelled at the nurse, the nurse ran from the unit crying and when she returned the scene was set for a near fatal accident. The nurse took me and her piece of paper to the pyxis and began to pull her medications. Again for time and space, the shortened version explains that the nurse mistakenly pulled a night medication due at hour of sleep instead of the day medication. The nurse then instructed the nursing student to pass these medications. By the time the nurse realized she had pulled the wrong dosage and...