For this assignment I am going to discuss how compassionate care and

For this assignment I am going to discuss how compassionate care and effective communication can be used in assisting service users with eating and drinking. I am going to use relevant up to date literature to support the information for example Kozier and Erbs Fundemental’s of nursing which discusses the role of the nurse and effective communication. I have also researched the impact of patients not receiving compassionate care when they are being assisted with eating and drinking such as the risk of malnutrition. I have researched ways nurses can provide compassionate care and how effective communication can be in assisting service users with eating and drinking such as respecting the patient’s preferences responding to their individual needs and referring them on to other healthcare professionals such as speech and language therapists that can help with dysphagia (swallowing difficulties). In my assignment I have researched about the MUST tool, it is a five zNurses carry out a number of different roles when providing care to their clients. They carry out the role of being a caregiver which means providing the client with care that meets all of their holistic needs. A nurse will also act as an advocate for their client, representing the client’s needs and preferences. (Kozier and Erb’s Fundementals of Nursing) The Royal College School for nursing believes that the role of a nurse is to understand and respond to individual needs with compassion and also respect the individual’s dignity at all times. Nurses must use effective communication when interacting with the patient, the patient’s family and their colleagues. They must make clear and accurate records about each patient and respect each individual’s right to confidentiality (NMC). Compassionate care and effective communication are both essential values for delivering care to patients that is person-centred. Compassion is one of the most important values within a nurse. It is fundamental in providing clients with person centered care and improving health outcomes for pateints. C. Strauss et al., 2016. Compassion is very similar to empathy; it involves putting yourself into the client’s situation and seeing things from their point of view. It involves providing necessary care to the client whilst being empathetic and recognising that the client may be in pain or discomfort. (Kozier and Erb’s). Burnell characterizes compassion through actions that result in a trusting relationship being formed between the nurse and patient that promotes both physical and emotional health. (Compassion, Caring and Communication – Jacqui Baughan, Ann Smith. )Communicating can be in the form of talking or listening but also non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication sends information from one person to another by using non-verbal signs such as hand gestures or facial expressions. Effective communication is described as the sharing of information between two or more people effectively. Effective communication is important in developing a relationship between the nurse and the patient. (Kozier and Erb’s Fundementals of Nursing).The Care Quality commission states that individuals who are receiving treatment or care must receive adequate amounts of food and drink to keep them healthy. https://www.cqc.org.uk/what-we-do/how-we-do-our-job/fundamental-standards Being able to eat or drink may be difficult for individuals that have ill-fitting dentures for example, this may cause individuals to be at risk of malnutrition, if they are not intaking the nutrients that their body needs. (BAPEN) Malnutrition is the imbalance of an individuals energy or nutrient intake. world health organisation The MUST tool can help reduce the risk of patients developing malnutrition. It is a five-step screening tool that was developed by BAPEN and can be used to ensure patient centred care. https://www.bapen.org.uk/pdfs/must/must_full.pdf Effective communication is essential between healthcare professionals and patients to ensure that the patient’s needs are being catered for. Any tailored information regarding eating and drinking should be noted in the individuals care plan. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg32/chapter/Key-priorities-for-implementation. It is important to ensure that patients are in a comfortable environment where they can eat and drink without any interruptions. (Council of Europe, 2003) The use of clothes’ protection aid such as serviettes, can help the individual feel less embarrassed as no food or drink is getting on their clothes. It is also important to wipe up any spillages to ensure that compassionate care and the individual’s dignity is maintained.Individuals who need assistance with eating and drinking need to be screened and any concerns need to be dealt with effectively. Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) can make it very hard and also in some cases painful for them to eat, therefore the individual could be referred to a speech and language therapist for help with communication but also, they can provide the patient with exercises that can strengthen the muscles in the mouth. https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-and-factsheets/dementia-together-magazine/speech-lan Individuals who have trouble with their posture could be refereed to a physiotherapist to assess their physical needs. Occupational therapists can provide adapted equipment to further assist the individual with eating and drinking. As a nurse, it is important to recognise and respond to any patient concerss. It also very important to be able to communicate effectively these concerns to other healthcare professionals that are dealing with the patient to ensure that they are informed of any changes within the individual’s care plan to ensure that all their needs are being catered for and dignity is maintained. Mastos, M., Miller, K., Eliasson, A.C. and Imms, C. 2007 Goal-directed training: linking theories of treatment to clinical practice for improved functional activities in daily lifeAdapted equipment can also be used to maintain dignity and promote effective communication. Easy-grip handles on cutlery, plate guards and nonslip mats can help patients who have restricted use of their hands but can still eat themselves. Adapted equipment is usually provided by an occupational therapist. Red tableware such as red trays, cups and jugs can help highlight those to the nurse that need assistance with eating and drinking. This is an effective way of communicating that these individuals need help without having to say it out loud.During mealtimes, it is important to offer the individual privacy and somewhere where they feel comfortable especially when they have difficulty eating. This will help to avoid embarrassment, loss of dignity but also aid in effective communication between the nurse and patient without having any distractions or interruptions. To be successful in delivering compassionate care it is important to not make assumptions on the preferences of a individual, every patient should be asked what their preferences are. Before any meal, nurses should ensure that the patient is comfortable and that they are positioned properly. If the patient is not able to eat their meal in a chair, they should be sat up in bed, with the bed positioned correctly and pillows to support them. Nurses should carry out compassionate care by asking the patient if they are comfortable and how they would like to eat their meal. It is important to sit down at eye level with the patient as this will aid effective communication but also reassure the patient that you have time to assist them. Before assisting the patient, it is important to tell them what is on their plate and when you are going to put the food into their mouth. This is particularly important for patients who are visually impaired so that they are ready to eat the food and that they know exactly what they are eating and when the food is being given to them. It is also important when providing compassionate care that the nurse tells the patient when they are feeding them and also asks if they are full or not, this is especially important when a patient has a hearing impairment. It is important to let the patient feel in control but also help them as much as they need it. Dougherty L, Lister S (2015) The Royal Marsden Hospital Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.It is essential that the nurse does not overload the fork or spoon with food as this could cause spillages and increase the risk of the patient choking. When feeding the patient, bring the food right up to the patients mouth to avoid them having to bend to reach the food. The nurse should allow the patient time to chew and swallow, this will make the patient feel as if they are not being rushed. Anderson L (2017) Assisting patients with eating and drinking to prevent malnutrition. Nursing Times

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