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Begin reviewing and replying to peer postings/responses early in the week to enhance peer discussion. See the rubric for participation points. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing viewpoints with a rationale, challenging aspects of the discussion, or indicating relationships between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Always use constructive language, even in criticism, to work toward the goal of positive progress.

Topic 2

Communication with the elderly can be challenging.

  • Identify at least two modes of communication you have used with the elderly in your clinical practice.
  • State what modes of communication were effective and which modes were challenging. Explain why.

Peer 1

Two modes of communication I use with elderly patients are first establishing rapport with the patients not rushing them through their care. If my patient had to wait I’ll make sure to apologize for the wait. Most elderly patients I encounter ask my name and and what am I about to do. Once I give them my name I find a conversation starter a question that is interesting and not to personal. This has worked well for me allowing my patients to become comfortable and allows us to start building a good rapport. Once we are acquainted I refresh their memory by repeating my name, title, and the what I’m about to do.

Secondly I do not use medical jargon. I want the patient to understand what’s going on concerning their care. It’s important to speak with language the patient can understand and to ask the patient often if they understand what is being said. According to Carozza (2016), “Using complicated medical terminology, or ‘jargon’, isn’t a good way to talk to any patient, but it is particularly detrimental when speaking with the older patient. Be mindful to put things so they are easy to understand, but without coming across as condescending”. I also refrain from addressing the patient with terms like dear, honey, or sweetheart because I want to maintain their dignity. When I insert PICC lines I have to go over the risks and benefits of the line. I use to tell the patient exactly how it is written on the consent example they are at risk of developing a DVt, malplacement of the line , or phlebitis. Immediately they would say what did you say and I would repeat it again and at first I didn’t understand they didn’t know what any of that was I thought they did not hear me. So after repeating it and looking at their confused face I gathered that they did not understand what any of that is. So I started saying blood clots instead of DVT, inflammation and swelling of the vein for phlebitis. So as a provider I understand how we can get caught up in getting things done instead of making sure the patient understands what we are doing.

Carozza, L. S. (2016). Communication and Aging : Creative Approaches to Improving the Quality of Life. Plural Publishing, Inc.

Peer 2

Identify at least two modes of communication you have used with the elderly in your clinical practice:

In my clinical practice, majority of the patients I work with are the elderly. Effective communication is key when excelling in the healthcare field and sometimes communication with the elderly can be challenging, but good communication between nurses and patients is essential for the successful outcome of individualized nursing care of each patient, which is why the language of communication should be understood by all those involved in it. Good communication is not only based on the physical abilities of nurses, but also on education and experience (Kourkouta & Papathanasiou, 2014). One of the most important modes of communication is listening. Some people may not technically consider it as a mode of communication, but it is crucial in nursing practice and provide one with valuable information. With aging comes loss of hearing and it is common for elderly patients to be hard of hearing, and can become difficult and frustrating for them when they cannot hear adequatley and vice versa. It is essential to understand our patients, and being able to provide them them with the best of care. It is important to be understanding and sympathetic, ensuring therapeutic communication is being had. Another very important mode of communication is using non-verbal communication. Another one of my favorite non-verbal ways of communication is using a dry-erase board. If the patient is hard of hearing it can be easy to explain with a dry-erase board that way they can see it without trying to guess or having feelings of embarrassment. Often time non-verbal communication can present one’s true feelings through observation and provide valuable information. 

State what modes of communication were effective and which modes were challenging. Explain why.

Listening is very effective as long as it is a two way street. Understanding the patients likes and preferences can allow you to easily satisfy their needs and allow them to feel like you genuinely. care. I have tried communicating using a phone translator and have found that to be challenging. However, having a translator present in the room is more effective and makes communication easier. 

Kourkouta, L., & Papathanasiou, I. V. (2014). Communication in nursing practice. Materia socio-medica26(1), 65–67. https://doi.org/10.5455/msm.2014.26.65-67