Communication Strengths and Weaknesses - Paper Example

Published: 2023-10-29
Communication Strengths and Weaknesses - Paper Example
Essay type:  Narrative essays
Categories:  Medicine Nursing care Interpersonal communication Essays by pagecount
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1334 words
12 min read

Reflection entails experimental learning. Reflection is perceived as a significant conceptualization for professionals who practice continuous learning. Reflective practice involves learning from an activity or experience to get a new understanding of self (Jasper, 2013). Reflective practice is an approach to enhancing the professional and personal growth of qualified and autonomous professionals, promoting both personal and professional development (Jasper, 2013). A reflection on an encounter with a service user in a hospital setting will be done. The Gibbs’ reflective cycle will be used in the first incident when I demonstrated weaknesses in communication. In contrast, Kolb's reflective cycle will be used in the second incident when I showed effective communication.

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I will be reflecting on an encounter that happened when I was working on the maternity ward during my initial year of qualified nursing. There was a middle-aged patient on the ward who had been in the hospital for maternity services. When she came to the hospital, we accessed her information, which showed that she had notable learning difficulties. Thus, she also had challenges in verbal communication. I was assigned to attend to the patient. Another nurse came into the ward with two other people, who were assessing the ward for renovation. When the nurse entered, he informed me of the reasons for the abrupt visit. Thus, I went to explain to the patient. When I first communicated with her, I was unable to use non-verbal communication. The patient spent most of the time trying to seek clarification about what I said to her. Additionally, I did not maintain eye contact with the patient during most of our communication moments.

Gibbs’ reflective cycle will be used to reflect on my face to face communication with the patient. Gibbs' model consists of actions, emotions, and knowledge, thus providing a comprehensive way of analyzing a situation (Oxford Brookes University, 2017). When the incident occurred, I had worked in the maternity ward for only four months; thus, I was not confident to handle the situation independently. I became anxious, and therefore I was not able to communicate clearly to the service user. I struggled to communicate with the service user about the need for an abrupt visit to the ward. Moreover, I was very stunned when the other nurse failed to consider the need to inform me before the ward visit. I felt embarrassed because I could not communicate clearly while maintaining eye contact with the service user.

My encounter had bad and good aspects that led to an enhanced discernment of my responsibilities as a nurse in the maternity team. My responsibility was to examine the service user's physical health, administer medication, recommend laboratory tests when necessary, and provide support to the patient. The aspect of supporting the patient entails acting to her best interest. Therefore, it was my duty to ensure the confidentiality of the patient through proper communication. Since the patient had communication difficulties, it was my responsibility to ensure that I communicate with her before the coming of the other nurse and public members to the maternity ward. My failure to communicate with the service user effectively showed that I had problems with non-verbal communication.

People with learning difficulties have problems adapting to situations (Legare & Armstrong, 2017). Thus, there is a likelihood of experiencing communication problems with a person who has learning difficulties. However, healthcare staff should be aware of how to interact with individuals who have communication challenges effectively. Healthcare staff can effectively communicate with such individuals through regular and valuable reflection. Before being admitted to hospitals, healthcare professionals should find out about the patient's communication, likes, and dislikes (Brittle, 2004).

Additionally, they should address any fears and seek help from other healthcare staff about communicating with a patient experiencing communication difficulties. Moreover, there should be daily communication with patients with communication challenges to address their needs. Communication with the patients can be done either using verbal or non-verbal communication methods. Thus, healthcare professionals should listen, make eye contact, use non-verbal communication, allocate more time with their patients, and be interactive to enhance effective communication.

A different incident occurred when I was assigned to the newborn ward, where I demonstrated my face-to-face communication strengths. My job was to ensure that the newborn children and their mothers received the necessary support and treatment. One day a mother called me wanting my help. Upon reaching her bed, she wanted to have a conversation with me. She shared her life encounters as I carefully listened. During our face-to-face communication, I maintained personal space to ensure that she was comfortable while speaking to me. Additionally, I kept quiet and gave her time to speak out.

I will use Kolb's reflective cycle to reflect on my strengths during face-to-face communication critically. I demonstrated confidence while attending to the patient who needed my support. Also, I showed professionalism because I ensured that the patient and I kept a personal space when communicating. Although, during most instances, the patient wanted me to stand nearer to her, I was very cautious not to get very close. Thus, I successfully maintained personal space as required. Additionally, I allowed the patient to speak while I was listening. Thus, I applied my listening skills, which enabled me to give the patient the needed attention. The patient wanted to have a conversation with me because I was the nurse in charge of the newborn ward. Despite that I attended the patient, I did not give her enough time because other patients needed my services. Thus, I spent little time with her and most of the additional time I attended to other service users.

I would have tried to give the patient enough time because the matter she was trying to express to me seemed heavy in her heart. Also, I should have consulted with my colleagues to dedicate time to attending the patient for a sharing session. Kolb's reflective model asserts that during abstract conceptualization, one should consult with colleagues to understand better dealing with a situation (Kolb, 1984).

Kolb’s reflective model uses scenarios to reflect on nursing skills. Kolb asserts that effective reflection occurs when an individual undergoes a concrete experience followed by observation and reflection. A reflection of one's experiences leads to the formation of abstract analysis and conclusions, which are then utilized to form new experiences (Kolb, 1984). Communication is one of the most important skills in the nursing profession. Thus, Kolb's reflective cycle enables one to understand the areas that need improvement.

I have learned that I need to focus on improving my communication skills to enable me to deliver and maintain professionalism. I need to improve on eye contact during face-to-face with patients and other people. Moreover, I should practice communicating using non-verbal cues with people who have difficulties in communicating effectively. However, I realized that I am a good listener, and I maintain personal space during communication. The listening skills and personal space maintenance during communication positively affect my persuasive professional communication abilities by enabling me to communicate effectively with the service users.

Reflective practice has been shown to bridge the gap between theory and practice, thus enhancing the quality of care. This is because healthcare professionals think about their experiences and actions to determine what they will improve. Both Gibbs and Kolb's reflective cycle are the best reflective models because each encourages systematic thinking about an experience. I should improve my communication skills to ensure professionalism and service during my nursing practice.


Jasper, M. (2013). Beginning reflective practice (ed.). Hampshire: Cengage learning.

Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experience is the source of learning and development. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Legare, T. L., & Armstrong, D. K. (2017). Critical reflective teaching practice for novice nurse educators. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 12(4), 312-315.

Brittle, R. (2004). Managing the needs of people who have a learning disability. Nursing Times, 100(10), 28-29.

Oxford Brookes University. (2017) Reflective writing: About Gibbs reflective cycle. Online.

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