In this essay I will be discussing how communication is animportant strength to have especially when working in a healthcare setting. As a healthcare professional you are dealingwith patients, colleagues and various other members of the public who will allhave individual needs and so as a competent practitioner you should be able toeffectively communicate with anyone you come across in practice. Delivery of quality care and assuranceof patient safety should be the ultimate goal of all health professionals.
Success in achieving this goal is highly dependent on effective communicationbetween all members of the healthcare team (Thomson, Outram, et al, 2016). I have chosen to reflect on two branches of communication andprofessionalism, firstly I will highlight the importance of body language andexpand on why direct eye contact is imperative and how using this action will helpme in my clinical placement. Secondly, Iwill discuss why commitment is a vital trait for any professional, my strengthsand weaknesses regarding this characteristic and if there are areas I canimprove on.Body language is an important non-verbal communication toolwhich can constitute more than fifty percent of what we are communicating toother people (Patel, 2014). Body language covers a vast amount ofactions, I would like to focus on eye contact.
Direct eye contact is vital as it shows the other person you areactively listening and engaged in what they are saying. It also shows that you are present in thesituation, serious and focused.‘Effective rapport can beestablished if we gaze at the other person for about 60-70 per cent of the time. A person who is timid and nervous may gazefor less than one-third of the times.
Such avoidance may give false signals to the listener, who may read intoit doubt or hesitation, while in truth the speaker may be honest and sincere inwhat he is saying. People who areconfident have more frequent eye contact than those who are unsure or evasive,and the duration of the contact is longer’ (Lewis, 2012).During the inter-professionalcommunication module, we were grouped together with other healthcare studentsthat we had never met before. Being amoderately shy person, this did make me feel nervous as I knew we would have tointeract with one another and undertake group tasks. In groups especially, itcan be difficult to be noticed and heard however I believe it is useful to useyour body language to convey to the other person that you are listening. Looking directly at the speaker and making afew head gestures to show whether you agree or not can be more effective thaneveryone speaking at once. Working inthese inter-professional groups allowed me to reflect on what I can do toimprove my body language when undertaking my first clinical placement. As a student I will most likely be observingand listening to my mentor, using open body language will show them in anon-verbal way that I am fully engaged in what they are teaching me.
Working in a healthcare environment I willcome across people with different background, cultures and needs using positivebody language will be extremely important in making patients feel as ease withme even if there is a language barrier.In any professional capacity being committed is a vitalattribute as it means you want to be there and are dedicated to see your jobthrough no matter of the hardships that come with it. Fromprevious experience I have always found commitment an issue, if I found a tasktoo difficult it would then usually result in me giving up and leaving one jobunfinished to then commence a new one. One of the very first sessions of this module we spoke about values,this session had a huge impact on me because it forced me to reflect on who Ithought I was as a person, my morals and personal values and what traits Ithough it took to become a competent healthcare professional. This also helped me to explore further as towhether I was ready to take on the responsibility that came with being able totime manage assignments, clinical placement hours and maintaining a sociallife. ‘Being a professional practitioner involved a commitment toone’s own development and this ultimately involves sacrificing some of your owntime to do so. It is simple not possibleto remain knowledgeable, and develop in your career only by using the timeavailable to you at work. Engaging informal study, such as studying for a degree, certainly requires the same sot ofthought as when embarking on pre-registration courses.
However, it is often ‘fitted-in’ to availabletime by making small adjustment to the way everyday life is organised (Jasper,Melanie, et al, 2011)Commitment to your chosen practice also reflects howimportant you feel it is to you. For meshowing my commitment will be to turn up to placement on time with a positiveattitude as I have chosen to be there, completing my work before the deadlineand making sure I do not give up. Thiswill also have a positive impact on my colleagues and patients as it will communicateto them that I take my job seriously and value their well-being. ‘In this respect, organizational commitment is defined asinvolvement in a particular organization and beliefs in values and goals of theorganization, sense of loyalty to the organization, moral obligations,heartfelt inclinations and sense of need to stay in the organization. In fact,organizational commitment is a type of psychological attachment to anorganization in which a person is involved so that committed employeessometimes obtain their own identity from the organization and benefit fromtheir memberships. Organizational commitment is also considered as one of thebasic values, which affects an organization, and it is used as a criterion toevaluate employees’ (Karami, Farokhzadian et al, 2011). Commitment for me personally covers what it means to be ahealthcare professional, from studying pre-registration, completing clinicalplacements and finally qualifying.
Ittakes dedication and sacrifices however if it is what you are committed to doingyou will see it through. Communicationin any form is extremely important however I believe that non-verbal can bedeemed more important as the other person will make assumptions from your bodylanguage. A few ways of helping me to bea more competent practitioner will be to reflect often on good and badsituations during my clinical placements, discuss any issues with fellowstudents and ask for feedback from my mentor.