Reflective Essay on Communication

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In this essay, I intend to reflect on a situation I encountered during my first community placement I had the opportunity to develop my communication skills not just theoretically but also practically, facing a real life environment. My placement made me aware of the importance of interpersonal and communication skills which are very important in the delivery of care. Throughout my nursing career, I will be encouraged to develop reflective practice skills and become a reflective practitioner. Reflection refers to a series of steps that you may take to question and explore an experience with the aim of learning from it. I will discuss the importance of communication in order to maintain a therapeutic relationship.

In this reflection, I have utilized Gibbs (1988) Reflective cycle. This cyclical model is a recognized framework to assist with a critical reflection on practice. I chose to use this cycle because it will improve my nursing practice continuously, and learning from the experience for better and improved practice. Gibbs (1988) reflective model consists of six stages. Boyd and Fales (1983) offer a useful definition of reflection, suggesting that it is “the process of internally examining and exploring an issue of concern, triggered by an experience, which creates and clarifies meaning in terms of self, and which results in a changed conceptual perspective.” According to Siviter, 2004, p165) explains that reflection is about gaining self-confidence, identifying when to improve, learning from own mistakes and behaviours, looking at other people’s perspective, being self aware and improving the future by from the past. However, having knowledge about reflection does not necessarily mean that nurses are able to use reflection in a meaningful way during practice. Self reflection helps nurses to learn about the actual practice of nursing and helps them to evaluate their own practice and performance. Reflection may also be prompted by more positive states, for example, by an experience of successfully completing a task which previously was thought to being impossible. The reflective process can be used to reflect in two ways; reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action. Reflection-on-action is often referred to as retrospective as it occurs after the experience has taken place, where as, reflection-in-action, involves exploring and reflecting upon an experience while in practice. Becoming a reflective practitioner will help me to focus upon knowledge, skill and behaviours that I will need to develop for effective clinical practice. Professional development should include opportunities to improve knowledge and practice of communication.

Communication is an essential interpersonal skill, which people need as it is an integral to everyday life. According to (Childs et al. 2009), communication is a process of interaction, meaning and understanding. In other words, a message is passed from one individual to the intended individual and/or group of people and will be received or not, interpreted or not, understood and/or misunderstood. The message can also act as a trigger creating a positive or negative response which in turn can affect the responding message and behaviour of the individual and/or group. Communication can be split in two, verbal and non verbal communication. Non-verbal communication is without the use of verbal language and is as important, if not more so, than the verbal part. The use of touch as a way of non-verbal communication is very important in caring. Non-verbal communication is extensively used in learning disabilities and for those with speech impairment. Making eye contact with the person you want to communicate with, allows you to check their response.

Learning disabilities nurses care for people who may not be able to express their needs; therefore it is especially important for nurses to refine their communication skills. Many people with severe or profound learning disabilities may...
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