What role does communication play in the dying process and what challenges can effective communication presents to professional carers?
“How communication happen can have a significant impact on the quality of life in the dying process” (quoted from block2, pg. 40). Attitude towards death and dying influence how dying people are cared for.
Communication is a two way process where the message is conveyed to someone or a group of people whether good or bad. Whenever the message is conveyed clearly and unambiguously, then it is known as effective communication. However, a communication becomes successful only if the receiving person understands what the other ...view middle of the document...
It should be taken into consideration the use of language in any situation. For example, (in Activity 3.5) the biomedical approach by the consultant in the vignette left the patient feeling at fault for his illness. From reading the accounts (Activity 3.3), understanding one’s own fears and concerns about death can help a great deal on how we communicate with dying and bereaved people. If open communication is not achieved professionals can sometimes operate on preconceptions rather than the dying person thoughts and feelings.
“In order to communicate effectively, it is helpful to understand the experience of dying from a dying person point of view” (quoted from Block 2, pg.48). Therefore it is important to build a relationship and get to know the dying person. This help in understanding their feelings and how to implement the right tools to support them. A good example would be Janice relationship with her aunt Louise (Block 2, case study 3.2).
In the past professionals used to withhold information about grave illness from patients, believing this would cause them unnecessary distress. It is much different now where as patients and health professionals are encouraged to share the responsibility of managing the illness and the dying process. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes people rather stay in the dark about their situation or relatives may not wish their love one to know they are dying, believing it might protect them. On different occasion it is professionals suggesting illness should not be discussed with the patients. In relation to this Glaser and Strauss (1965) identified four types of awareness process which have a strong influence on the interaction between the dying person and the carers.
The first one being open awareness (Block2, pg. 49), which is the most common types. It describes all parties, patients, relatives and all carers as being open with each other. A good example would be the article from the course website and Ollie’s situation (Anthology, piece 60). Because patients are sometimes aware of their situation that does not mean they would want to talk about it all the time. Another type is suspected awareness. In this case, where Marion (Anthology, piece 43) suspected something was seriously wrong with her. Mutual pretence awareness, suggest that “both know that the other knows but do not acknowledge this to each other”. (Quoted form Block2 pg.50) The last type closed awareness the opposite of open awareness. Another good example, Mary knew that her dad was going to die (Anthology, piece 42) and regretted not saying it to him.
It could be argued that those persons whose attitude and actions most influence the quality of end of life care are professionals because they have primary control of information that drives medical decision making. However, this has proven from time to time to be challenging. Being told one’s illness is grave is most shocking. How bad news is presented is therefore important....