Reflect on a recent conversation with a client or family:
In your next conversation where you provide health information to a client or family:
Recently during one of my shifts at the hospital I had a patient who had a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) procedure done. Prior to the patient undergoing this procedure in the OR, I had provided them with information on what a TURP is, and a brief description of what they would be doing during the procedure as well as how to prepare for it. Reflecting on the conversation with the patient, I recall the patient describing to me how they were feeling prior to the procedure, as well as how they reacted and their behaviours based on the information I provided. I feel like yes, patient and I both had an understanding of the information being provided. Although I cannot 100% say if the patient understood the information I provided, but based on the patients behaviours I strongly believe they did. The patient was actively listening, making eye contact, nodding at appropriate times to what I was saying, and asking questions when they needed more clarification.
After providing them with health information post TURP procedure I discussed with both the patient and family member on aftercare management, diet, exercise. They both appeared to clearly understand what to do once discharged home. In order for me to further help them understand I had printed photos, and handed them a 2-page sheet clearly outlining everything discussed in layman’s terms. I also verbalized everything on what to expect and when it would be necessary to seek emergent care post procedure. Both the client and significant other were actively involved, asking questions, expressing their concerns, having me explain things several times in different ways if they did not understand. They were reviewing the sheets I had provided and actively listening. An example is when I had asked the patient what they should do if they feel constipated while at home? The patient then said they will take a mild laxative, and can also discuss it with their pharmacist when picking up their pain medications. When I had asked why they should take a laxative instead of trying to force themselves to use the washroom the patient explained that exerting themselves may cause them to bleed post procedure. After explaining to patients when providing them health information, I like to ask them questions on what they would do in certain situations as this allows both me and the patient to gauge how well they understood the information provided, and what learning may need to be reinforced/ reiterated.
Those are some great examples you mention of patients demonstrating understanding of the information. It takes a lot of non-verbal communication and noticing these ques, doesn’t it? Verbal confirmation of understanding is definitely important, however I feel that when in tandem, it really demonstrates true understanding of the content that has been taught.
It sounds like you were really utilizing some of those coaching skills you had developed in post procedure education – asking questions instead of telling. Great example, Amber.
Thanks for your contributions to this weeks discussion.