Transcript of Introductory Video for the Communication Competency

Photograph of the narratorGreetings. Let's talk about communication. As nurses we try to communicate effectively, respectfully, and compassionately with older adults. But sometimes sensory changes, other physiologic changes, and cognitive changes make barriers to communication.

Many years ago I was sitting in a waiting room of a health care facility. A door opened. In whipped a young woman dressed in a lab coat. She called out a patientís name. As she turned to go out the door, she saw Mr. Jones. Apparently she recognized Mr. Jones. He was in his 80s. And as Mr. Jones was sitting there and the young woman was whipping by, she said, "Hello, Mr. Jones." In the split second that they had eye contact, Mr. Jones didnít respond. But as the young woman was rushing out the door, Mr. Jones raised his hand slowly and he said, "Hello." Well, he spoke to her retreating back and the door closed.

This was an example of ineffective communication with older adults. The young woman apparently had not remembered the slowed transmission over multisynaptic neural pathways that can occur with aging, and she had not allowed Mr. Jones the time to respond.

Perhaps you have stories of ineffective communication with older adults. Have you ever seen people raise their voice when theyíre talking to someone who is visually impaired?

Or, perhaps you have other examples of difficult communication. Have you ever seen an older adult who has so much cerumen buildup in the ears that hearing is impaired?

In the learning activities for this competency, you will have a chance to explore sensory changes. You will have a chance to look at some case studies, do a puzzle, explore resources on the internet for people who are visually impaired. And youíll find tips for designing patient education brochures.

So enjoy. And communicate effectively.

To view this video, use this video link.

Narrated by L. Felver, Ph.D., R.N. ©2011

Communication Competency Learning Activities

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