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Importance of Self-awareness in Healthcare

Write essay on Self-awareness in Healthcare. 

Self-awareness is the process where one examines his or herself (Delius 2011). It is one of the major factors by which success is reached in all professional fields. It involves examination of oneself feelings, behavior, emotions, and attitude. Health care workers use this important tool in their worker-client relationship since if one can get self-awareness, then we can understand other people better. People have it hard in the process of self-awareness since it is time-consuming and can be at times painful. It starts in the conscience awareness and thus this may lead to one struggle for change by making efforts continuously (Ferrari & Sternberg 2010). Health workers for example nurses spend a lot of time with their patients and thus it is important to develop a therapeutic relationship with them, and self-awareness comes in handy as a tool to aid this process (Eckroth-Bucher 2010).

Professional healthcare training schools develop the health workers into persons that know how to act or function in some situations. This raises an important point in that self-awareness is very important in health workers education. Some important aspects of self-awareness that need focus include Examination of self-awareness aspects, implications of self-awareness in the health care profession, development of self-awareness by healthcare workers, and how they use it in the creation of a relationship with their patients.

Improving self-awareness in both profession and personal aspects often leads to success, growth on the professional level, and quality care and treatment of the patients. Health care workers are always present to look after their patients, and for this care to be good, it is necessary to know oneself. For proper communication between the patients and the health worker, there is a need for rational reflection and approach for the health workers (O'Toole 2012). Communication can be verbal or non-verbal between the health workers and his or her patients thus reflection of one's action through talking to friends, writing journals, and meditation is important ways of practicing self-awareness. If a health worker can confide to friends and they listen, this will make them have knowledge on their personal lives, and they can apply this method in taking care of their patients. Keeping a diary that reflects one’s life, using reflection models, and learning about body language are other aspects that can improve a health worker self-awareness thus ensuring efficient and effective communication with their patients.

Development of Self-awareness in Healthcare Workers

Self-awareness is not an instant process but is rather continuous, and thus, health workers should ensure they perform it on a regular basis. From the previous discussion, it is clear that there are several ways that health workers can improve self-awareness thus using it in the communication process with their patients. However, the most common strategy used in the health care practice is a personal reflection. It is important for health care workers to reflect on their experiences, and take positives from any mistakes they made. Personal reflection is helpful as helps the health care workers relate to their patients by relating with them or even sharing their experiences with them(Burnard 2012). Clearly, this will improve the patient-health worker relationship thus improving the communication process between them. 

Personal reflections provide the opportunity for people to develop on earlier practices and may even lead to a change of behavior. In the patient care setting, health workers can use Psychodrama techniques to improve their self-awareness and thus apply them in the communication process with their patients. The sessions can be an important tool in identifying any flaws in the therapeutic relationship and through this process; the health care workers can incorporate the skills they gain and their role models to aid in communication thus building patient-health worker relationship. From previous researches, it was fund out that the psychodrama technique was effective in helping health workers gain self-understanding. Also, it provided them with the opportunity to know how other people viewed them and helped make an association between their feelings and that of their patients. In summary, psychodrama is an efficient and effective method of removing any communication flaws between the healthcare workers and their patients. 

In a health care setting, self-awareness is always an important and essential aspect of the health care professional practice. Also, self-awareness normally leads to improved competency and thus greater satisfaction for the clients who are the patients. Being transformative and dynamic process self-awareness can lead to change for both the lives of the health care worker and that of the patient. It helps guide good behavior thus enabling health care workers to create a proper environment in the health care setting and this aid in promoting the communication between the workers and patients creating a good interpersonal relationship. It provides a therapeutic environment, and this is one of the earlier steps in ensuring the workers take good care of themselves. Self-awareness ensures that one will engage in good and healthy behaviors leading to better health care workers thus better patient care. People are not the same, and while some have an easy and good way of evaluating and understanding their feelings and emotions some have it hard and need more time to perform self-awareness. Listening to the inner dialogue is very important for one to develop self-awareness and thus, health workers use this to ensure that their patients listen to the inner dialogue. In the case of any recognition of bad behaviors, they advise the patients on changing the behaviors to healthy ones. Research on self-awareness has shown that the health workers do not only bring care to their patients but also their personal unresolved issues and stress. Without self-awareness, there will be a poor health worker-patient relationship, and thus, there will be no proper communication.

Strategies for using Self-awareness in Healthcare

The health workers can use the personal stress matters to improve the lives of the patients by ensuring that they acquire self-awareness first before giving their personal experience as examples enable the patients through their self-awareness process. It is clear that health workers require knowledge on both verbal and nonverbal gestures to aid them when using self-awareness in patient care.     As health care workers, there is need to learn on how to handle different situations as opposed to avoiding the situations. Being a health care worker one encounters patients from different backgrounds and systems thus one has to assess situations and be able to apply self-awareness at different levels of the patients are different. In summary, health workers should be able to apply self-awareness efficiently to enable patients to open up and therefore ensure they are satisfied with their services. 


Therapeutic communication is an essential skill that all health care workers should possess. Its importance is sometimes underestimated in the health care practice, and this should never be the case. For proper therapeutic communication to take, place self-awareness has to come in play thus boosting the relationship between the healthcare workers and their patients (Koloroutis& Trout 2012 p.76). Therapeutic communication is one of the essential skill that ensures that health care workers caring for their patients in a holistic manner. Through this type of communication, which is achieved when health care workers use self-awareness, it provides a therapeutic environment for care and healing purposes (Knapp 2013).  Communication is an essential skill in the modern health care systems, yet most of the health care workers often fail. However, the introduction of self-awareness in the patient care system has led to enhancement of the health care delivery systems.

Health care workers self-awareness can aid in directing communication to the patient’s needs and therefore creating a proper health care setting for patient care and treatment. It is important for the health care workers to have an understanding of their values and behavior since they always interact with patients who have unique values and behaviors. They should also be able to know how these values and behaviors will affect their patients and how those of the patients will affect them. Without knowing oneself then there is no expectation that proper care will be provided to the patients. Health care workers should not reject or argue with patients whom they do not share the same values with or those with unhealthy behaviors and self-awareness of both the patient and the health care worker will ensure this does not happen. By the use of self-control effectively the health care workers, therefore, are able to have knowledge about their strengths, limitations, and personal response patterns. Having this knowledge will ensure there is a proper relationship between the patient and the health care worker, and thus, they should use some of their strengths to provide proper and effective care to the patients.

Conclusion

Including patients in the decision-making process in another proper way that health care workers use self-awareness. Patient participation in decision making is a very complex matter, and it has gained increasing recognition as the key to redesigning the health care systems to improve the safety of the patients. Through self-awareness of both the patient and the health care workers, the process has been successful in some aspects of patient care such as management of chronic diseases and the issue of decision-making. Health care workers have to agree that patients too although not knowledgeable in the field still have to make a contribution regarding decisions that should be made in consideration to their health.

Patients’ willingness to perform in the decision-making process can be affected by factors such as lack of medical knowledge, acceptance of the new role, morbidity, lack of confidence, and other social factors. All these factors can be influenced through self-awareness, and the health care providers have to ensure they use this to be able to make patients make decisions where they are required. Among the health care workers, the acceptance that patients have a role in the decision-making process can be influenced by; personal beliefs, type of sickness, desire to remain in control, social status, ethnic background, and the health worker-patient relationship. To ensure these factors do not affect the patients participating in the decision-making process, health care workers have to perform self-assessment on themselves and thus ensuring proper working environments and a good healthy relationship. Research has shown that patients can modify the behavior of the health worker and vice versa. Therefore, the health care workers should be able to apply self-awareness to influence the process of decision making for the patients. Through self-awareness, the patients can be able to make decisions on their own regarding their health, and this is how the health care workers use and will continue to use the process.   


Research and studies have shown that self-awareness has created a proper way for the health care providers to engage patients and enable them recover from their illnesses, tolerate pain, better mental health, and improves psychological adjustments. Health care providers use self-awareness as a communication tool in presenting the patients with the ability to function the limitations that they encounter each day they are ill. It enables the patients to use their experiences to empathize with other patients that encounter the same problems and share the same journey to recovery. Self-awareness creates a sense of gratitude to the patient to be able to show compassion to other patients, and this eases the pain. Health workers have been able to use self-awareness in the communication process by giving the patients an opportunity to reflect on their previous lives and to ensure then that they will be able to get back there(Stuart &Laraia 2013 p.118). However, through encouraging them, they advise them to change any unhealthy behavior they had in the past and hold on to the healthy behaviors. The patients can improve psychologically through the self-assessment process as some of them can manage anger, raise self-esteem, and can show empathy and this creates a good relationship with the health care providers. Health care providers have been trained on how to communicate with the patients and therefore all of them have experiences with their patients that have required them to use self-awareness as a tool of communication to enable the patient to feel better.

Health care workers use the Johari model framework either knowingly or unknowingly as a self-awareness tool in the communication process with their patients (Jack & Miller 2013). The health workers engage their patients in the self-awareness process through three stages and this aid in the healing process. The stages are the present/now, transition stage and the regroup stage. This framework is very important especially for the new health care workers who may have difficulties with communication to their patients. Through picking out the flaws in the present stage, the health workers can obtain help from their senior colleagues, where they can talk to his or her patients. After identification of the flaws, the person can be able to find processes or resources that he or she can use in solving the limitations in the transition stage. In the regrouping stage, which is the last phase of the framework, the health workers can use the changes in the patients to solve the hidden or personal issues. This process will aid in the healing process of the patient. However, the process is painful as one does not let out individual weakness easily but the patients need to be receptive to change into better people, and this will enhance healing since understanding oneself can aid in the understanding of others. When the health care workers and patients understand each other through better communication, a strong relationship is formed, and this will clearly ensure proper care from the health care provider and thus a smooth healing process for the patient. Achievement of this, however, there is a need to form support groups in the healthcare settings and invite mentors to the meetings for encouragement and support purposes. Many health care providers have used this process, and results have been positive. Even after the patients have been released, healthcare providers have been following up on them forming better personal relationships with the patients since self-awareness is a continuous process. 

In conclusion, self-awareness has been and will continue being an important tool in the communication between patients and health care workers; it is referred to a therapeutic tool. When health care workers are self-aware, there is a good therapeutic environment created for enhanced caring. Also, when the patients are self-aware, the therapeutic environment created will enhance the healing process. Self-awareness creates a window for success personally and proper management. From several studies and researches that have been done, it is clear that self-awareness an essential tool in the communication process between patients and healthcare providers. It is for this reason that each health care worker has to have the skill, and since it is even taught in the health colleges, it creates proper health care settings. It is also a fact that self-awareness is a continuous process and takes a lot of effort there for healthcare workers should use it in a cautious manner in the caring process of their patients. In summary, both patients and healthcare workers should ensure they undergo the self-awareness process to create a good relationship and environment for the healing process.  

References

Eckroth-Bucher, M. (2010). Self-awareness:  A review and analysis of a basic nursing concept,    

Advances in Nursing Science.

Jack, K., & Miller, E. (2013).  Exploring self-awareness in mental health practice.

Delius, H. (2011). Self-awareness: A semantical inquiry. München: C.H. Beck.

Ferrari, M. D., & Sternberg, R. J. (2010). Self-awareness: Its nature and development. New    

York, NY: Guilford Press.

Burnard, P. (2012). Know yourself: Self-awareness activities for nurses and other health    

professionals. London, Angleterre: Whurr.

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Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Koloroutis, M., & Trout, M. D. (2012). See me as a person: Creating therapeutic relationships    

with patients and their families.

Bryan, K. (2011). Communication in healthcare. Oxford [England: Peter Lang.

Stuart, G. W., & Laraia, M.  T. (2013).  Principles and practice of psychiatric nursing. St. Louis:    

Mosby.

Tamparo, C. D., & Lindh, W. Q. (2014). Therapeutic communications for health care. Clifton    

Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Freshwater, D. (2012). Therapeutic Nursing: Improving patient care through self-awareness and

reflection. London: SAGE.

Knapp, H. (2013). Therapeutic communication: Developing professional skills. Los Angeles:    

Sage Publications.

Heneman, H.G. (2011). Self-assessment: A critical analysis. Personnel Psychology.

Parvanta, C. F. (2011). Essentials of public health communication. Sudbury, Mass: Jones &   

Bartlett Learning.

Douglas, C., Rebeiro, G., Crisp, J., & Taylor, C. (2012). Potter & Perry's Fundamentals of    

Nursing - Australian Version. London: Elsevier Health Sciences APAC.

Winson, J. (2013).  Promoting self-awareness.  Nursing Standard.

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professionals. St. Louis, Mo: Saunders Elsevier.

In Walker, S. (2014). Engagement and Therapeutic Communication in Mental Health Nursing.

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