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I have learned from working in a team that health and social care communication underpins all that professionals do and can influence the level of service that patients receive.
I have also come to know that the quality of care that is being received by the patients gets compromised by inadequate communication between the members of interprofessional teams and can result in any number of bad experiences for the patients. I have seen that a portion of the components that add to helpless correspondence incorporate the frequent use of professional language, shortened forms and poor presentation of work. Consequently, I made it an individual target attempt to dodge these practices and behaviour that I accomplished with the help of my mentor; for instance, I tried to use language that is all inclusive so that there is no miscommunication. Elaborating it, there are couple of issues such as clinical governance and quality improvement to support effective communication, correct identification and procedure matching, communication at clinical handover, communication of critical information and documentation of information that I discovered during my placement period and the action I took with the help of my mentor to minimise its effect ensuring to maintain the communication for safety standard.
I had a clear understanding of the above issues from my university lectures but my placement became my field experience for implementing it and then taking instant feedbacks. One of the hardest parts was the realisation of the importance communication for safety standard during the clinical handover. I had to struggle a lot during first couple of shifts to get my head around and get used to with the system. Then, I discovered the sequence that needs to be followed for the effective clinical handover for example; preparing and scheduling the clinical handover, having the relevant information at clinical handover, being aware of the patient’s goals and preferences, etc.
Being on a placement, I also found that documentation of client’s information also plays a vital role to ensure patient safety. Every health service providers have their own processes to document information in the healthcare record, including: risks and critical information, change of care plan, etc. It will give the health care provider the clear view of how the patients’ needs have to be handled by the healthcare professionals.
Reflecting on the success of my placement, now I have clear understanding of importance of communication standard and its effectiveness in ensuring the patient safety. In my upcoming days, I can successfully implement my learning and experience in my workplace and maintain the communication in my workplace.
Communication standards are instructed to nurses in the instructive environment and are a significant part of educational program, yet there are numerous worries regarding communicational weakness and lack effective communication. Therefore, it is important to understand the steps required for the effective communication particularly during the clinical handovers.
The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards have been formulated by the government for ensuring the quality of healthcare services being rendered by the healthcare providers to the people (Boyd, & Sheen, 2014). The standard for communicating for safety describes the strategies for effective communication between the healthcare professionals, clinicians, patients, families, carers, multidisciplinary teams and within the healthcare organization. The clinical handover is an important task where this standard is realized. As per this standard there are steps which have to be followed during the clinical handover. These are preparing and scheduling the clinical handover, possessing the relevant information of the patient, organising with the relevant healthcare professional for participating and remaining aware of the goals and preferences of the patient. Communication is also made effective during the clinical handovers by supporting the patients, families and carers and ensuring that the clinical handover results in the accurate transfer of accountability and responsibility of care.
This standard has been maintained during the placement as this is evident from the steps that have been taken during the clinical handovers. There was preparation and scheduling of the clinical handover with the relevant professionals and the required patient’s information was also collected. The healthcare goals have been discussed along with the care plan. However, there were some clinical issues in the application of this standard. The patients’ preferences have not been considered during the clinical handovers. The families, patient and their carers were also not included in the clinical handovers.
Communication is essential for ensuring the quality of healthcare being imparted to the patients. The clinical handovers are important for the healthcare professionals as during these the relevant and crucial information of the patients’ health are relayed to the healthcare professionals when the shifts are changed. The communication during the clinical handovers must not only include the facts and figures of the patient’s health but it must also be inclusive of the patients’ specific preferences and healthcare goals (Manser, et al 2013). The clinical handover has to be done including the patients, their carers and families so that that there is effective transfer of accountability and responsibility of care. The involvement of families is necessary during the clinical handovers. This have been found to allow for the family and a patient centred care and with the participation of family members there is improvement in the efficacy of clinical handovers between the healthcare professionals (Manias, & Watson, 2014).
Therefore, it is recommended that the clinical handovers are important for ensuring a high quality of care and therefore the organizations must develop proper protocols for clinical handovers. The communication has to be effective during the clinical handovers. This not only includes the facts and figures about the patient rather there are distinct steps which have to be followed. Further, it is important to include the patients, their families and carers during the clinical handover. This gives an opportunity for providing patient and family centred care and hence the quality of care is enhanced. Hence, with this placement I have understood the importance of effective communication during clinical handovers and from now on I shall make this standard a part of practice.
Boyd, L., & Sheen, J. (2014). The national safety and quality health service standards requirements for orientation and induction within Australian Healthcare: A review of the literature. Asia Pacific journal of health management, 9(3), 31-37.
Manias, E., & Watson, B. (2014). Moving from rhetoric to reality: patient and family involvement in bedside handover. International journal of nursing studies, 51(12), 1539-1541.
Manser, T., Foster, S., Flin, R., & Patey, R. (2013). Team communication during patient handover from the operating room: more than facts and figures. Human factors, 55(1), 138-156.
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