Help! The art of communication

  1. I'm a first year nursing student and am currently doing an assignment on communciation in nursing. It would be great if you great RNs can answer some, or all of the following questions. It would be of great help to me.

    What is communication with non-English speakers like? In what way would you try to convey your message?


    What is the communication with children like? How do you convey your message if they won't listen to you, refuse medication or become difficult?


    How do you deal and communicate with elderly patients? Is there difficulty?


    What kind of patients do you have especially have difficulty communicating with?


    Non verbal communication (body language, tone)-how competent are you with non verbal communication elicited by your patients?


    If you are having difficulty communicating with some of your patients, what do you do to overcome this?

    Do you have difficulty communicating with handicapped people? If so, in what way and what do you do to overcome this?

    What is the most important characteristics of a professional nurse in terms of communicating with the people for whom they care?





    Thanks
    Last edit by happystar on May 19, '03
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   happystar
    Someone.....please answer. this is rather urgent, only have a few days to write up this assignment....
  4. by   sanakruz
    This seems to me to be a" problem solving "assignment.....

    I'm not an RN, but I have learned how to communicate none the less
    Older folks sometimes have impaired hearing so make eye cotact stand close and speak in a louder than average voice- no dont shout. Many people read lips without knowing they are doing so. Look directly at the person.

    To communicate with children use visual aids.

    To communicate with a non english speaker you will need an interpretor.Its helpful to know some cultural nuances also.I met up with many people from Mexico and Central America. It is impolite for a stranger to call someone by their first name.Meet the person with a formal greeting."Senora Sanchez?." etc. We Americans tend to call people by there first names to be more "intimate or "friendly", but this is not universally appreciated

    See where Im going with this?
  5. by   Audreyfay
    ---First of all, I am a diabetes educator, so my answers are mostly directed into the teaching arena.

    What is communication with non-English speakers like? In what way would you try to convey your message?
    ----I agree with the vital use of an interpreter. To go without, or use a family member as an interpreter is legally not acceptable. So, we have facility interpreters. Sometimes the use of an AT&T interpreter is needed. If so, use it. In conveying the message, I try to simplify as much as possible and use many gestures and visual aids. We have some materials that are specific to different languages. If possible, seek those.

    What is the communication with children like? ---It depends on the age. For toddlers and babies, it's the use of gentle tones, smiles, and bright colored interesting objects. The parents are the ones that need the direct attention. Showing top care of their child and explaining everything the the parent is vital. For younger children, the use of play helps.

    How do you convey your message if they won't listen to you, refuse medication or become difficult? ---I'm guessing you are referring to a younger child. Allowing them to make a choice sometimes helps....Where would you like your medicine (injections).....Would you like mommy to hold you while you take your medicine, or would you rather lie on the bed? Refusal... bribing (I never made much of a peds nurse, so I'm not much help there.) But, play therapy made an excellent teaching situation.


    How do you deal and communicate with elderly patients? ---Treat them with respect...Mr/Mrs. The above tips are very important. I also like to talk with them on their level. If they don't understand complex terms, use their language to explain. After the MD sees them I frequently ask them if they understood what the Dr. said. Many of them don't know at all, because they tend to be a little excited/tense. Some figure that the Dr. knows, why do I have to know? Helping them understand what is important and how it affects them sometimes helps.

    Is there difficulty? I work primarily with older people and really enjoy. Some learn painstakingly slow, which takes lots of patience. However, that doesn't mean that they're stupid. They need much positive feedback on a timely basis to encourage them to do better, be it physical therapy, or checking their blood sugar. Adults are primarily self-motivated learners. If they think it is important, they will do it.


    What kind of patients do you have especially have difficulty communicating with? I don't really have any trouble communicating with anyone. However, there are some groups that I just don't enjoy as much, and that is teenagers. They are at the age in which they think they know everything and don't need to listen to anyone else. So frequently the respect factor is missing. That is the group I try to avoid, simply because I don't enjoy it. So, to all you peds nurses, you have my hat tipped to you!


    Non verbal communication (body language, tone)-how competent are you with non verbal communication elicited by your patients?
    Since I've been a nurse for 27 years, the non-verbal communication is about 90% of the encounter in my assessment. After all, only 10% is verbal, and 90% is non-verbal, from the research I've read. I consider myself well versed in no-verbal communication.

    If you are having difficulty communicating with some of your patients, what do you do to overcome this? ---Keep trying different ways to make it better. Creatively think of alternative ways to communication. If it is someone there is more of a personality conflict, I'll level with the person and say, I've feeling that perhaps you might do better with another nurse. If one is available, would you prefer to work with someone else?

    Do you have difficulty communicating with handicapped people? If so, in what way and what do you do to overcome this? ---Handicapped people are the same as we are. They have the same feelings as we do. I believe they just want to be treated like everyone else, so I treat them with respect, just as I treat others.

    What is the most important characteristics of a professional nurse in terms of communicating with the people for whom they care?
    ---Courtesy, respect, honesty, knowledgeable, accurate, succinct, kind, and caring. (Not necessarily in that order)

    Good luck....Audrey
  6. by   babs_rn
    Originally posted by happystar
    I'm a first year nursing student and am currently doing an assignment on communciation in nursing. It would be great if you great RNs can answer some, or all of the following questions. It would be of great help to me.

    What is communication with non-English speakers like? In what way would you try to convey your message?

    We call a translator or point to a picture board.


    What is the communication with children like? How do you convey your message if they won't listen to you, refuse medication or become difficult?

    Talk to mom. Let her handle the kid.


    How do you deal and communicate with elderly patients? Is there difficulty?

    Some are hard of hearing. Always helps to look directly at them when you talk and sometimes talk loudly into their "better" ear..


    What kind of patients do you have especially have difficulty communicating with?

    The idiots. And the ones who won't quit talking long enough to listen to a word you say.


    Non verbal communication (body language, tone)-how competent are you with non verbal communication elicited by your patients?
    VERY. I'm much more sensitive to nonverbal communication than to words spoken.


    If you are having difficulty communicating with some of your patients, what do you do to overcome this?

    Change my approach based on what I have learned about them in the attempt.


    Do you have difficulty communicating with handicapped people? If so, in what way and what do you do to overcome this?

    Sometimes the deaf don't know how to sign but if they can read and write, we have no problem whatsoever. Otehrwise there's a picture board or something like that. Some understand their family members better so we'll get them involved.

    What is the most important characteristics of a professional nurse in terms of communicating with the people for whom they care?

    Focus your attention on the patients. Listen to and anticipate their needs. Smile- that's universal. Everybody understands a smile.





    Thanks
  7. by   Dayray
    Just my opion but I would place the most importance on Non verbal communication.

    Funny but I just read a book on this today. It's very usful in nursing, takes some practice and is always open to interpataition but Is the best tool you ahve for assessment.

    you can tell what non english speakers are feeling and even what they are saying on some cases.

    As fo elderly they verey often say things to cover up their true feeling after spendig time with elderly their are some common cues you can learn that tells whats really going on.

    With childeren it non verbal is also useful and I have always found a playful and caring approach works well

    I can't think of a time where I was unable to communicate with a patient. If its a language problem Id get an inturpeter. If it was anyother problem Id say just keep on trying till you are successful
  8. by   healingtouchRN
    we have an ATT translator via phone 24/7. just find out the language & dialect & dial them up. Response within minutes. We have soooooo many nationalities here in our Air base community. Lots of middle eastern dialects, latinos, & asians. Keeps us culturally conscious! Interesting to meet so many people with similar needs, too. What a small world we live in!
  9. by   happystar
    thanks. it was great help. anyone willing to help more is welcome.

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