Communication is imperative to health care in general and nurses in particular. This essay will discuss the success and failure in communication with the patient in the film Wit, identify if there are any gaps in my skills or knowledge, and plan solutions to alleviate the issues or improve them.
To begin with, there are several positive communications displayed in this film. First of all, at the beginning of the film, as Vivian Bearing, who was the patient as well as the main character, was diagnosed with metastatic ovarian cancer in stage IV and her tumour would express quickly, Harvey who was her doctor told her to prepare to have eight cycles of chemotherapy. After every time of treatment, she would receive a full dose which might have side effects for her. From my point of view, this verbal conversation was effective because the doctor has let her know what she was going to undertake and prepare her mind to get ready for this obstacle.
At the beginning of the cycles, she had some nausea and Sue came to measure and check her CCS. She asked her patient if she needs some help such as calling someone. She also reminded Bearing that she would check her many times to make sure that she was fine and advised her to bell the ring for help if she has any suggestions. From the given conversation, it shows that Sue is a caring nurse and this effective communication makes the patient feel respected and satisfied as they are receiving a high care quality. In addition, after doing some tests, Jason, who was an oncologist as well as her previous student, came to check her eyes and explained the fluid as well as her kidney to her clearly and friendly.
He also spent time on talking to her for a while about cancer and advised her to keep pushing the fluid every day although it was a little tired for her. It was clear that the doctor had a positive conversation because he helped his patient understand clearly about her disease and comforted her. Furthermore, when Bearing was scared at 4am because she was lonely, Sue, a primary nurse, came to her room and tried to comfort her by keeping encouraging her that everything would be fine and advising her to keep calm. She brought two ice-creams, one for her and one for the patient. She shared her stories with Bearing and asked if she wanted to think or talk about something.
Additionally, in the next morning, the patient had some symptoms such as hard breathe, shaking, catching a chill and having some difficulty in speaking, and Sue told her to try to have some relaxation. It was evident that those verbal and non-verbal expressions of the nurse were psychological care which are important during the treatment because they help the patient reduce depression and feel that at least they have someone to share their stories with, even when they are suffering from a severe disease.
In short, through the film, it can be seen that Sue was the only one having cared about her feeling, understood her, and spent time on communicating with her. Last but not least, before the day Bearing passed away, her former professor visited her and told her a story. Although Bearing’s mind was not in full possession of her senses, she was able to feel the warmness of the hug from her professor. In short, the conversation was on one side as she was unable to speak; however, this is still an effective communication because it helps the patient feel warm.
On the other hand, there are still a number of negative communications in the film. In the first few minutes of the film, when Bearing checked in her room, the nurse came to her room without talking or saying hello to her. When she asked the nurse how she felt today, she just responded only one word “Fine” which showed the impoliteness of the nurse. Additionally, during 4 hours of operation, there were no questions asking her how she feels today, which means that the healthcare staffs did not care about her. It illustrates that the first impression between the nurses and the patient is inefficient due to cold and impolite verbal communication, making her feel dissatisfied.
Regarding to myself, from the film Wit, firstly, I have learned that I should provide patient-centred care to my patients by spending time on communicating with the patient from the first day of staying in hospital, listening to them without judging, finding out the reason why they are in hospital, and understanding their feelings. The reason is that patients do not only contain a group of symptoms, damaged organs and unstable emotions but they are human being who are worried about their diseases and searching for hope, relief, help and trust simultaneously (Hellĩn 2002). According to a study in 2017, it was found that nurses sitting beside their patients while communicating with each other enhanced patient’s satisfaction related to healthcare from 9% to more than 40% (Heath 2018). In fact, it is believed that a close relationship between patient and health professions plays an imperative role in healthcare as accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment mostly depend on this element (Hellĩn 2002).
Secondly, I should have a short rest when I am depressed or stressful because it will not bring effective outcomes if I continue to work. According to the International Journal of Nursing Studies, it is stated by psychologists that in nursing workplace, there are some mental illness such as anxiety, depression and burnout that make nurses reduce the care provision and also result in a threat to treatment safety (Mealer et al. 2012). It is evident that having a short break or remaining psychological stability is imperative as it helps me to focus carefully on my treatment plans, leading to an efficient outcome in the future. Lastly, I should treat my patients equitably. As there are many disadvantaged or marginalized people or whom live in racial or ethnic minority groups, as well as women in Australia particularly and around the world generally, they deserve an equity in healthcare (WHO). In fact, they should not be treated as guinea pigs, which means that they should have the right dose for their treatment in order to minimize the mortal rate.
However, there are some gaps in my skills and knowledge. The first weakness is that when I am stressful, I am unable to concentrate on my work and feel nervous which usually leads to unsuccessful results and anxiety. To alleviate personal issue, I will try my best to control my feelings or request the manager to let me have a break for a few minutes to keep calm if necessary. Furthermore, I am not good at remembering some academic body vocabularies; nevertheless, I will try to take note and learn them every day. Besides, as I am a thoughtful person, I am able to understand patient’s feelings.
When I was a child, I followed my parents to live in the hospital as my second home because they were doctors. As a result, I observed and spent time on communicating with the patients while my parents were busy. The purpose at that time was only to make them unwind after long hours of treatment. To improve this skill, I have listened to many more patient’s stories such as their disease’s biography, their family and also their plans after leaving the hospital. Moreover, I am good at taking care of people. For instance, when my friends or relatives have a fever, I know how to reduce the temperature by using a cold towel to wipe their body many times a day or advising them to have a shower and not to use many blankets to cover their body because it will increase the body temperature.
I also stay close to them to listen to their requests when they need a hand. These days, I have taken care of my friends in Australia by providing them some food to improve their health and I think this way currently helps me to improve my caring skills. Finally, I have some skills in instructing patients how to use medications. As my mother has a clinic, I have responsibility to follow her prescription, provide doses and instruct the patients. This means that I know some basic medicines as well as their functions and doses. In the future, when I go back to Vietnam in the summer break, I will have more chances to practice at her clinic.
In conclusion, the film Wit has brought many valuable lessons to my skills and knowledge. It helps me to understand more about healthcare problems, identify and improve myself, and minimise negative communicative factors to become a professional nurse.