In the business of health care, nurses play an important role to ease up the tasks of the doctor and to ensure the well being of the patients under their charge. Communication is the key to efficient and successful completion of any task and specifically it is crucial for addressing the health care needs of a patient. Forms of effective communications among the patients, health practitioners, doctors and nurses help to create a bridge and connective frame (Taylor, 2015) for the healthcare thus simplifying the important decisions made by the doctors including medical care and dosage. In some cases, when the communication gap grows more than the acceptable level, then it is likely that there would be problems pertaining to health care of the patients making the conditions poor and disordered. The communication problems may vary in different aspects of the health care issue such as communication gaps due to language disparity, talking problems of patients, inability to understand the dosage context and many more. One such major issue is the disparity level and the communication gap because of hearing impairments with growing age. (Kee, 2015). This solely depends upon the age of the people and problem of hearing. This is recognized as one of the major factor which creates a poor review of the nurses and makes them helpless in regard with the health care issues.
The communication gaps between the nurses and the patients may arise because of the hearing impairments among elder people with this factor affecting about over half of the population above a certain age of 65 years. There are patients who do not understand the directions given by the nurses in one time and hence require repetition of these directions. Hearing impairments may occur due to age or another 20% can occur because of noise leading to loss of hearing power (Midha, 2015). Hearing impairments are rarely acceptable in this career as both the persons are not able to understand each other’s contexts, commands, requests or any other orders due to misunderstanding of the terms spoken (Stuart, 2014). Therefore, communication gaps can come up as a major issue in the lifetime career of any nurse working in any hospital. They may occur frequently because of variety of patients are of age above 65 years and are generally suffering from hearing impairment thereby causing trouble for the purpose of health care.
The communication gaps arising out of hearing impairments in elderly patients can create confusion in delivery of requirements and orders of medication. This may lead to an enhanced level of frustration creeping up in the behavior of nurses who aim at providing crucial and important information to the patients regarding their medical dose, medicines, timings, or any kind of required tests. Since, nurses have to deal with the patients during the whole day, therefore, this tiring and frustrating job may lead to poor job satisfaction and reviews from the nurses (Meleis, 2011). The nurses undergo complete efforts in maintaining healthy relationships with all patients regardless of their background or caste. But, this kind of problem may arise in frustration caused to them regarding the dissemination of important and crucial information. Thus, there are some facilities in the hospitals for training given to the patients as well as their family members to ease up the job of nurses so that they may be able to understand correct information in the correct context. In this entire career, they may face frequent issues due to communication gap. Such strategies and use of slow speech combined with gestures may help in minimizing the impact of such differences over the health care and treatments and would be able to promote a high quality of life and a refined quality of medical care and treatment given to the patients.
Utilization of gestures and some indicative signs can help the nurses to communicate with the patient and make them understand their context of the medical treatment given to them. Nurses can use this methodology to present their views and commands and pass on the necessary and crucial information to the patients regarding their medical treatment and medicines taken at the right time and in right quantity. If communication gaps creep up in between the patients and the nurses, then the use of other tactile and sense organs (Jeffreys, 2012) can be applied in the process of exchanging necessary information. They can teach the family members to speak slowly and with a slow pace of clear words in the whole sentence. Even the tone should be polite and pleasant to make the patients feel cared. Nurses must be given training in the initial time of their coaching to use gestures and signs to formulate a smooth communication required a bare minimum health care that should be given to the patients. Nurses should not lose patience in communicating the information to the patients and must not frustrate as this is the part of their job. Instead they must provide emotional and physical support to the patients giving them utmost of their services. Patient’s dignity must be respected by the nurses as they are service providers. In order to create a healthy and welcoming atmosphere for the patients to recover, it is essential to communicate with the help of gestures, signs, or drawings or by resorting to slow speech with clear words and warm tone (Baylor, 2011) to interpret the patients, to understand their problems, to have an insight into their condition and to further give suggestions and remarks about the medicines that should be given to the patients in right quantity and at right time.
The hearing aids and kits must be checked at timely intervals for their proper functioning so that patients are able to hear clearly and understand clearly. It is the responsibility of family members or the nurses to check the availability of these aids. Visual and tactile sense (Shuler, 2013) should be used to overcome loss of hearing sense. In case of economic problems, the hospitals can direct some social services to cater to their needs.
Communication have drastic effects on each aspect and run of the life including health care and care provided by the nurses. Hindrance in communication and disorders in hearing impairment may affect the quality of medical treatment given. Assistance of nurses and providing of special training to the patients in form of innovative solutions to both the patients and their family members can make this communication channel simplified and would help the nurses to receive a positive feedback, be able to care for the persons more and provide quality services for medical care. Hence, there should be effective communication between the care takers (health practitioners, doctors and nurses) and the patients to make good health decisions, provide quality treatment and medical advice and realize some of the good health care outcomes.
1. Taylor, C., Lillis, C., Lynn, P., & LeMone, P., (2015). Fundamentals of Nursing (8th ed): The Art and Science of Person-Centered Nursing Care.
2. Kee, L, J., Hayes, E, R., & McCuistion, L, E., (2015). Pharmacology (8th ed): A Patient-centered Nursing Process Approach
3. Midha, P., Malik, S., (2015). Does Hearing Impairment Affect Quality of life of Elderly?: Indian Journal of Gerontology, 2015, Vol 29, No. 1, pp. 46-61. Retrieved March 18, 2015, from Academic Search Premier with Full Text database.
4. Stuart, G. W. (2014). Principles and practice of psychiatric nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences.
5. Meleis, A. I. (2011). Theoretical nursing: Development and progress. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
6. Jeffreys, M. R. (2012). Nursing student retention: Understanding the process and making a difference. Springer Publishing Company.
7. Baylor, C., Burns, M., Eadie, T., Britton, D., & Yorkston, K. (2011). A qualitative study of interference with communicative participation across communication disorders in adults. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20(4), 269-287.
8. Shuler, G. K., Mistler, L. A., Torrey, K., & Depukat, R. (2013). Bridging communication gaps with the deaf. Nursing2014, 43(11), 24-30.
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