We’ve all been there – in a busy clinical area and a person or family are advised there is a change in care due to clinical findings, investigations, laboratory results . Time is limited but each person being counselled varies in their knowledge, understanding, intelligence and how they process the facts that are imparted to them. It can’t be a one size fits all but how exactly do health professionals communicate quality evidence to the people they care for and maintain an individualised approach?
Several NHS trusts are going paperless with leaflets available on line. This is a way forward but we must ensure there is access to computer or a phone with wi-if access . Some health care users may not want to admit they are technophobic, don’t have a computer or laptop or perhaps cannot read and/or write. I promote the use of libraries and also show how to access the hospital free wi-fi . It’s important to flag the hospital wi-fi which should be available for all staff ,visitors and patients – Trusts that don’t provide this are failing their patients and staff . Access to wi-fi has been jokingly added to the Maslow triangle
but on a serious note it’s standard in cafes, restaurants and hotels so please NHS follow suit – our business is hospitality after all .
Questions to ask about giving information
- Is it relevant ?
- Is it current ?
- Does it link to evidence and research ?
- Who decides how in depth it should be ?
Giving a leaflet is simply a starting point for a wider discussion it’s not a final statement . As health care professionals we should be constantly asking women and families “is there anything you need to know ? Any questions you have? ” as well as promoting a learning environment . We are helping women to become leaders for other women when we give valid , useful information out . There is no excuse for us to say “I wasn’t asked” anymore.
Health professionals must start the spark that gives the public a thirst for knowledge about their own health . I recently counselled a woman about carbon monoxide(CO) – she didn’t smoke but two of her close family members did . I offered them all Carbon Monoxide screening . The two family members CO levels were 1. Above 30 2. Above 25 . The non-smokers was 19 and wait for it I also measured my CO as a control – mine was 15 . I then realised I’d been in a closed room with the family for over an hour . The CO had affected all of us . This led to a discussion about the effects of smoking , the safety of nicotine but the dangerous effects of carbon monoxide and the way the tobacco industry makes an addictive product with hidden perils . The family chose smoking cessation as the results of the screening test surprised them (and me !) I didn’t nag them I befriended them and helped them to focus on how they could remove the product from their lives and not their guilt .
Below is a recent article by Jonathan Cliffe Midwife about personalising care for every woman – published in the British Journal ofMidwifery August 2016 .
The current financial status of the NHS is forcing many trusts to cut back on small things, but I believe that it’s the small things that make the NHS wonderful. The fact of the matter is we are here to provide a priceless service to families, parents and people. If we keep our focus on doing the best we can do each and every day by imparting the evidence which applies to the individual , looking at how the individual might help us to gain new knowledge, opening our minds to improving outcomes, valuing staff and patients alike then the only way that the NHS can possiblY move is in a toward direction.
I suggest you google “How to share evidence – NHS” you might find some valuable information to help your own NHS trust .
Thank you for reading , please leave a comment .
With love ,