In this essay I will be discussing how communication is an
important strength to have especially when working in a healthcare setting.  As a healthcare professional you are dealing
with patients, colleagues and various other members of the public who will all
have individual needs and so as a competent practitioner you should be able to
effectively communicate with anyone you come across in practice.  Delivery of quality
care and assurance of patient safety should be the ultimate goal of all health
professionals. Success in achieving this goal is highly dependent on effective
communication between all members of the healthcare team Thomson et al, 2016)

I have chosen to reflect on two branches of communication and
professionalism, firstly I will highlight the importance of body language and
expand on why direct eye contact is imperative and how using this action will
help me in my clinical placement.  Secondly,
I will discuss why commitment is a vital trait for any professional, my
strengths and weaknesses regarding this characteristic and if there are areas I
can improve on.

Main body –

Body language is an important non-verbal communication
tool which can constitute more than fifty percent of what we are communicating
to other people (Patel, 2014).  
Body language covers a vast amount of actions, I would like to focus on eye
contact.  Direct eye contact is vital as
it shows the other person you are actively listening and engaged in what they are
saying.  It also shows that you are
present in the situation, serious and focused.

‘Effective rapport can be
established if we gaze at the other person for about 60-70 per cent of the time.  A person who is timid and nervous may gaze
for less than one-third of the times. 
Such avoidance may give false signals to the listener, who may read into
it doubt or hesitation, while in truth the speaker may be honest and sincere in
what he is saying.  People who are
confident have more frequent eye contact than those who are unsure or evasive,
and the duration of the contact is longer’ (Lewis, 2012)

During the inter-professional
communication module, we were grouped together with other healthcare students
that we had never met before.  Being a
moderately shy person, this did make me feel nervous as I knew we would have to
interact with one another and undertake group tasks. In groups especially, it
can be difficult to be noticed and heard however I believe it is useful to use
your body language to convey to the other person that you are listening.  Looking directly at the speaker and making a
few head gestures to show whether you agree or not can be more effective than everyone
speaking at once.  Working in these
inter-professional groups allowed me to reflect on what I can do to improve my
body language when undertaking my first clinical placement.  As a student I will most likely be observing
and listening to my mentor, using open body language will show them in a non-verbal
way that I am fully engaged in what they are teaching me.  Working in a healthcare environment I will
come across people with different background, cultures and needs using positive
body language will be extremely important in making patients feel as ease with
me even if there is a language barrier.

In any professional capacity being committed is a vital attribute
as it means you want to be there and are dedicated to see your job through no
matter of the hardships that come with it.  From
previous experience I have always found commitment an issue, if I found a task
too difficult it would then usually result in me giving up and leaving one job
unfinished to then commence a new one.  One
of the very first sessions of this module we spoke about values, this session
had a huge impact on me because it forced me to reflect on who I thought I was
as a person, my morals and personal values and what traits I though it took to
become a competent healthcare professional. 
This also helped me to explore further as to whether I was ready to take
on the responsibility that came with being able to time manage assignments, clinical
placement hours and maintaining a social life.

Being
a professional practitioner involves a commitment to one’s own development and
this ultimately involves sacrificing some of your own time to do so. It is
simply not possible to remain knowledgeable, and develop in your career only by
using the time available to you at work. Engaging in formal study, such as
studying for a degree, certainly requires the same sort of thought as when
embarking on pre-registration courses. However, it is often ‘fitted-in’ to
available time by making small adjustments to the way everyday life is
organised (Jasper, Melanie, et al, 2011).

 

 

Conclusion –

Commitment for me personally covers what it means to be a
healthcare professional, from studying pre-registration, completing clinical
placements and finally qualifying.  It is
takes dedication and sacrifices however if it what you are committed to you
will see it through.  Communication in
any form is extremely important however I believe that non-verbal can be deemed
more important as the other person will make assumptions from your body language.  Some ways of helping me to be a more
competent practitioner will be to reflect often on good and bad situations during
my clinical placements, discuss any issues with fellow students and ask for
feedback from my mentor.