For this task we had to participate in two interactions. The first activity we had to do was take the temperature of an elderly lady who had significant loss of hearing. The second was to move a teenager from a bed to a chair that had just had surgery on both his eyes and because of the dressing over the patient’s eyes it was obscuring his vision. For this we worked in a group of three and switched the role of career, service user and the observer.
In activity 1 I feel as I communicated well with the service user, as I used quite effective eye contact and facial expressions to show my understanding and to let the service user know I was listening. This kind of non-verbal communication is effective when careering for a patient who has loss of hearing in both ear, because the service user can begin to understand what you are doing and can communicate feelings easily through facial expression, which can help her to feel relaxed in the situation.
The person who was observing me also felt I used these types of communication quite effectively but she also though I did other things that were very effective- things like the tone of my voice. She thought this was good because I wasn’t patronising towards her. Another would be my use of props/signs- as I showed the service user pictures of how I was going to take her temperature and also acted out the procedure on myself, so she would feel comfortable and she knew it wouldn’t hurt or discomfort her.
Activity 2 was more complex as I couldn’t use the same type of communications- like eye contact and facial expression, which would be useless in this kind of situation as the service user had just had both their eyes operated in and dressed. So I focused more on my tone of voice, which the person observing me agreed with and felt that I spoke clearly to the service user so they could fully understand what was going on, and I also spoke about their surroundings on where they were, what was around them and where they had to move.
I also encouraged the service user to talk back, to tell me how the he was feeling. The reason I think I did this well was because I was constantly talking to the service user about what I was doing and directing them, and I asked him many questions to make sure he weren’t in any pain and understood where he was, so he didn’t feel scared and uncomfortable. I also agree with my observer that issued silence as listening skill in the activity to see if my patient wanted to comment on anything I had done, and I also watched and listened to see if my service user was in any sort of agony when I was moving him.
My own communications in these activities, I feel, were quite effective as I planned what I was going to say to the services users before I spoke to them to make sure that what I was saying was decoded properly. In activity 1 I feel that I could have improved my touch and proximity to make the service user feel more confident and relaxed, I could have also used more effective gesturing because of her loss of hearing this way I could have communicated more clearly with her. In activity 2 I could have made sure that that the service user felt comfortable with me assisting him to move, as I was female.
I could have also provided both service users with the encouragement on how well they were doing, as they both would be in very uncomfortable situation and with this kind of positive encouragement it could help them feel more at ease. The fact that they both had to put their trust in me completely, which was not to hurt them and get them to where they wanted to be. I could have improved the situation by getting to know the service user before doing the job intended and in turn let them get to know me better, that way they may feel they can trust me to care for them because they know who I am.