Challenges in Effective Communication for Patient Safety and Outcomes


Effective communication is one of the most effective measures in ensuring patient safety and improved patient outcomes. However, in the presented case, there was no effective communication. For instance, the doctor relayed sad information to the patient and left regardless of the impact the information would have on the patient emotionally and mentally. Besides, while delivering the message, the doctor had poor body language. For instance, there was no eye contact. Ethical values were also not considered. For instance, there was lack of privacy in the ward, and no confidentiality and dignity towards the patient. The doctor became agitated, rushing his conversation, not letting the patient speak, fiddling his hands while telling the patient that they may have only three months to live.



Professional communication lacks in the case scenario. In a hospital setting, nurses are at the center stage of patient care. They are the first point of contact to patients as they spend time with the patient relative to other healthcare practitioners. In the case, the nurse would have thus asked the doctor to inform him of what was to be relayed to the patient to prepare the patient mentally and emotionally for the news. The aspect of empathy lacked in the scenario. Empathy enables the healthcare practitioner to view from the point of the patient thus there is a better understanding of how the information might affect the patient in various aspects. People can develop poor communication because they are mentally not prepared to receive information. Apart from having professional qualification, nursing involves lifelong learning. Thus, nurses should learn on the job. A doctor does not spend as much time with the patient as the nurse does. The role of a nurse in the hospital thus calls for many skills. these are helpful in not only looking after the patient but also being a leader though it is assumed that the doctor knows more than the nurse because they study more years at University. Doctors not only treat people but also have the B same right to challenge each other.

Doctors in hospital practice have offices, consulting rooms, or family rooms where patients can have private conversations with healthcare personal. The doctor in this scenario ought to have implemented the hospital policy accordingly. Particularly, such kind of sensitive information needs to happen in a quiet and confidential environment where the patient is in control, with the nurse there to support her. A conversation with a patient concerning such sensitive information should occur while the healthcare practitioner is sitting beside them. The doctor should have thus enquired whether he could sit beside the patient as she was sitting in her bed. If the patient agrees, the doctor can sit beside her, look at her face, make eye contact with her, hold her hand and deliver the message in the most appropriate way.

The atmosphere inside the rooms is warm, calm, and welcoming. The rooms are spacious, painted plain colours, clocks on the walls. There are at least three chairs, selected magazines or books, big windows to allow natural light in the rooms, and sometimes you will meet flowers framed. The consultation rooms reduce patient stress and complete the overall comfort of patient privacy. The facilities in these rooms make the patients feel a sense of hospitality in the hospital. There was no relationship with the nurse, and she was just there doing her job. The nurse forgets that she is there to protect the patient’s confidentiality, privacy, health, independence, individuality. The nurse knew anything about the patient because she did not bother to ask.

Everything is wrong in this scenario because the nurse did not challenge the doctor. The nurse should have asked the patient not to be scared of the doctor and should have asked to talk to the doctor before speaking to the patient. Besides, the nurse should have enquired what the doctor was going to talk to the patient about. Besides, it is the duty of the nurse to know the state of the patient before receiving such sensitive information. Some of the questions to ask would include: Is the patient deteriorating? What is the result? Can we speak to you in private before we talk to the patient? What do I need to know that is not on the care plan yet? As this person have a terminal illness, could you let me know? The nurse did not challenge the doctor, and she just went with him to see the patient. Communication starts when two people make contact from the sender to the person who received the message, and the message has to be understood by the parties involved. From the moment the doctor came to the ward and asked the nurse to go with him before they went anywhere, they should have discussed what would be said. The nurse could have said to the doctor, ‘ before we go to see the patient, I will let the patient know and prepare the patient like bringing her a cup of tea’.

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The need to put Gibbs Reflective model in this conversation for it to be a positive one. However, since there is no Gibbs Reflective Cycle in the communication fails from the beginning. There was no instruction, no skills, no active listening, and together, the doctor and the nurse failed the patient. Here are ways of communication improving. The nurse has her fault; even if the doctor did not talk to the nurse that is no problem because the nurse could have got the information when talking to the patient. If this was good communication, the outcome could have turned effective. In the beginning, the nurse could have taken the lead; being the leader and being a leader is communicating well. To take leadership and say to the doctor, if you are going to give bad news if the patient is going to die, I need to know because I need to prepare the patient. Because sometimes doctors think nurses do not know anything, and a nurse is required in the hospital every day. Any doctor acting this way has to be questioned or put on disciplinary because healthcare staffs commit to providing quality care to patients. Nurse needs to stand up for their patients and speak up. The doctor needs to explain things as simple as possible to the patient with full attention and ready to listen to any concern the patient might have to ask him on her perspective on the shocking news. The doctor rushed the communication, which created the error to be misinterpreted, and to prevent this, the doctor and the nurse needed to collaborate with the patients to understand the patient better. What the illness experience is like for the patient and how this information to what patient-centered care to tailor to the patient needs is paramount. The doctor did not show any of these skills, so he failed in this scenario. To gain back these skills are various training health personnel regularly take at a set time and need to pay, but just paying is not sufficient to obtain a medical license. Healthcare staff may need to take competency examinations to renew a license to practice. The doctor and the nurse’s actions towards the patient were not acceptable. The patient can complain or ask to be moved to another clinic because there is a breach of confidentiality. Regulation in place will promote a professional working environment.

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