Essay on Reflective Account on the Importance of Non Verbal Communication in an Acute Setting

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This assignment is a reflective account of my first experience when assisting a patient to eat lunch. For the purpose of this assignment I will refer to this patient as Mrs C to maintain confidentiality and comply with the NMC code (2008). It will discuss the importance of non-verbal communication when providing effective nursing care to the elderly.
As a framework for this reflection I am going to use the Gibbs (1988) Reflective Cycle which uses 6 stages; description, thoughts and feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan which will improve my nursing skills by continuously learning from both good and bad experiences, and develop my self confidence in relation to caring for others (Siviter 2008).
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I felt most relieved when she began to settle and was able to eat most of her meal.
I felt this first experience was very rewarding and a big learning curve for me in caring for others. I was delighted that I had been able to support Mrs C to eat nearly all of her meal which she clearly enjoyed. The ‘protected mealtime’ policy ensured that I had time to dedicate to assist her and as she did not have the ability to feed herself, without my help she would have eaten very little or nothing at all. On the negative side, staff on the ward did not take into consideration this was my first placement with little previous nursing experience, I was inexperienced, did not know my patient and subsequently the issues I would experience when assisting her with a personal activity of daily living. Taking note of the details on her diet sheet prepared me for what difficulties Mrs C might have when eating her meal. I was able to communicate effectively with her whilst assisting her with her meal. She made good eye contact and I was able to understand her needs.
Mrs C’s illness means she depends on others for most of the 12 daily activities of Living (Roper et al, 2000) and l feel she had the best nursing care I was able to give. Dementia can impair both verbal and non verbal