Effective Communication in Healthcare: Mitigating Errors, Enhancing Teamwork

  • 07 Pages
  • Published On: 06-11-2023

Errors arising from ineffective communication contribute to adverse events in the healthcare. These errors could have since been avoided through effective communication therefore, which plays a key role in avoiding communication errors. To add, poor communication can frustrate the efforts of team work through inhibiting the delivery of quality care leading to low job satisfaction (Baillie and Black, 2014). NMC code has emphasized on the need of effective communication, where the midwives are obligated to listen to the patients’ issues on the service delivery and reflect on how it can be improved. Failure to listen could lead to misunderstanding as well as missed information leading to misinformed decisions.

Competence, commitment, courage, care, compassion and communication are fundamental values in the midwifery which make up the ‘six c’s’ (Baillie and Black, 2014). They aim at ensuring the delivery of high quality services to the people in need and they crucially impact on service users as well as patients’ experience in the health care, communication being one of the essentials. Being one of the core skills in midwifery, effective communication enables conflict resolution as well as create better outcomes. The communication may be visual, nonverbal or verbal communication.

Additionally, effective communication especially in midwifery promotes multidisciplinary decision making, understanding of the common responsibilities and it also improves on the trust that the team members have towards each other (O'Hagan et al., 2014). Paying attention to the body language is part of effective communication and it enables the midwife to understand the message that could have not have been relayed verbally (Bramhall, 2014).Commitment is another core value in nursing that expects the midwives to always be committed in their duties. It involves the dedication and the effort that is put in place to ensure that there is continuous and constant high quality service delivery and care to the women as well as to their families.

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As stated by Bramhall (2014), care given to the patients should be personalized, where each individual receives high quality care that is personalized to their conditions. The aim of the maternity sector in England is to ensure that the mothers receive personalized as well as safe care which is tailored to both the mother and the baby’s needs (Serrant, 2016b). Effective communication also ensures that the use of communication skills including listening to the concerns raised by the women are incorporated in the decision making as well as in policy formulation. This ensures that the women feel satisfied and confident that their need will be met.

Showing compassion to the women in the maternity is crucial in ensuring customer satisfaction. Being concerned and sympathetic enables the midwife to build the patients confidence in the midwife and it also determines the perception that the women and their families have towards the quality of service received. Self-confidence is also key in delivering of care because it influences the quality of services delivered and the midwives are also expected to be courageous (Riley, 2015).

Competence is key in midwifery and revalidation process is being used to ensure that the midwives remain competent. The nursing and midwifery council requires that all their registered members are revalidated after every three years in order for them to keep their registration which ensures that competence is maintained (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2018). Having the expertise and the clinical knowledge is crucial for the midwives to provide high quality care to the women as well as to their families.

Additionally, emotional intelligence is important in midwifery since it is a skill that each leader should possess. It ensures that one is able to manage their emotions as well as that of those around them, also the midwives are expected to remain calm and practice emotional intelligence even when they are stressed (Riley, 2015). Self-awareness is one of the components of emotional intelligence where one is aware of what they are going through, their strengths and weaknesses. This enables one to control their emotion which is crucial in ensuring effective care delivery.

Motivation is a key element in emotional intelligence where everyone is expected to work hard towards achieving the set goals. Self-motivation ensure high quality work and better customer satisfaction. No matter the problems encountered, motivation makes the midwife to remain optimistic and find a solution to the problems. To add, empathy is important in midwifery. The midwife is able to relate to what the women go through which would be key in ensuring that they receive personalized care.

The nursing and midwifery code contains the ethics and the standards that the nurses should follow in order to ensure that the health and the wellbeing of individuals is safeguarded (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2018). The midwives are expected to treat people with dignity, also they are expected to treat the patients equally and the code warns against discrimination. This ensures that the quality of care is standard. Being considerate and showing kindness is crucial in to the nurses and midwives. To add, confidentiality is important in the practice. Patient information should remain confidential. This enables the patient to trust the midwives and they tend to be more open with them. Exposing the patients information is prohibited in the code unless if the patient may be at risk of harm.

Listening is an effective communication skill and it has also been highlighted in the NMC code, where the health care providers are expected to listen and to address the issues that could have been raised (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2018). It enables effective conflict resolution as well as decision making. Sharing information in a way that it can be understood is key. Communication involves passing information from one party to another. Therefore, measures that ensures effective communication between the midwife and the patients should be put in place which may include involving an interpreter if there is a language barrier. Additionally, effective communication is one of the values in care that prevents unnecessary harm (Hayter, 2013). Feelings, thoughts, opinion, needs, and facts are conveyed through effective communication. Skills like questioning, reflective, and listening ought to be there to ensure effective communication. Also, accurate interpretation and observation are crucial in communication (Kourkouta and Papathanasiou, 2014).

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References

Baillie, L. and Black, S., 2014. Professional values in nursing.

Bramhall, E., 2014. Effective communication skills in nursing practice. Nursing Standard (2014+), 29(14), p.53.

Hayter, M., 2013. The UK Francis Report: the key messages for nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(8), pp.e1-e3.

Kourkouta, L. and Papathanasiou, I.V., 2014. Communication in nursing practice. Materia socio-medica, 26(1), p.65.

Nursing And Midwifery Council, (Great Britain), 2015. The Code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives. NMC.

NURSING AND MIDWIFERY COUNCIL. 2018. Welcome to Revalidation. [online]. Available from: https://revalidation.nmc.org.uk/welcome-to-revalidation/ [Accessed 05 March 2021].

O'Hagan, S., Manias, E., Elder, C., Pill, J., Woodward‐Kron, R., McNamara, T., Webb, G. and McColl, G., 2014. What counts as effective communication in nursing? Evidence from nurse educators' and clinicians' feedback on nurse interactions with simulated patients. Journal of advanced nursing, 70(6), pp.1344-1355.

Riley, J.B., 2015. Communication in nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Serrant.L, (2016b). BETTER BIRTHS Improving outcomes of maternity services in England. [online] Available at: https://www.NHS England.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/national-maternity-review-report.pdf [Accessed 05 March 2021].

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