Reflective Account on the Importance of Non Verbal Communication in an Acute Setting

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This assignment is a reflective account of my first experience when assisting a patient to eat lunch. For the purpose of this assignment I will refer to this patient as Mrs C to maintain confidentiality and comply with the NMC code (2008). It will discuss the importance of non-verbal communication when providing effective nursing care to the elderly. As a framework for this reflection I am going to use the Gibbs (1988) Reflective Cycle which uses 6 stages; description, thoughts and feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan which will improve my nursing skills by continuously learning from both good and bad experiences, and develop my self confidence in relation to caring for others (Siviter 2008). Description

This was the first day of my first placement. Lunch arrived on the ward, to be distributed to patients by nursing staff. My mentor told me the trust operates a ‘protected mealtimes’ policy where routine nursing care stops and staff dedicate time to mealtimes, she asked me to assist a patient with lunch. The patient, Mrs C is a frail old lady, 95 years old who suffers with dementia and diabetes and has aphasia (speech loss) and dysphagia (swallowing difficulties). She was admitted to hospital with general deterioration and pneumonia. She is nursed in bed and because of her medical issues requires assistance with many of the activities of daily living as described by Roper, Logan and Tierney (2000). In spite of the medical and communication difficulties Mrs C suffers with, I was able to help her into a comfortable sitting position and fully assist her to enjoy her meal, resulting in her eating practically all of it and recorded details on her food chart. Thoughts and Feelings

I will now discuss what I was thinking and feeling during this event. I was apprehensive as I approached Mrs C. I did not know this patient and wondered what difficulties I might have. I introduced myself and explained that I had brought her some...
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