Reflective Account on Communication

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Gesture, Communication Pages: 2 (792 words) Published: September 4, 2012
Reflective account on communication

This assignment is a reflective account on communicating with a patient who cannot communicate verbally. To remain confidential I will call the patient, Patient A. I’m going to discuss the importance of non-verbal communication within a healthcare setting. Patient A was a 63 year old lady suffering from MND which resulted in her losing her speech.

This was my first shift back from having a few days off and I returned to work on a night shift. Patient A was admitted to the hospice that day. She was admitted for general deterioration and she had tried to maintain her independence up until breaking point. It was handed over she has aphasia. Her inability to use her speech related muscles meant that she was unable to talk. She was able to hear and see well. She still had her dexterity in her fingers. She also had a PEG in situ. She was able to transfer with the assistance of two from bed to chair and chair to commode. She was completely continent.

When I introduced myself to patient A for the first time she seemed very distressed. She was lying in bed on her side. She had a notepad and pen in bed beside her. She was able to write down that she felt very uncomfortable in the bed. I quickly learnt that she was also able to give a ‘thumbs up’ gesture for a yes as an answer and a ‘flat hand’ as a no answer. This meant you could ask her questions with a simple answer. It was important to maintain eye contact however still being to acknowledge her hand gestures. Body language is also important, so in order to do both I bent down to gain the important eye contact. I asked her if it was her position she was in and she gave a flat hand gesture, which indicated no, then I asked if she’d like any pillows on her bed, as she had none, to which she replied in the same way. She then wrote down that it was the mattress as she couldn’t move around easily on it. I told her this was because it was a pressure relieving air mattress. I told...
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