COMMUNICATION AND DOCUMENTATION IN COMMUNITY NURSING
STRATEGIES TO PROMOTE EFFECTIVE COLLABORATIVE WORKING AMONGST HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS IN THE COMMUNITY WHEN CARING FOR CHILDREN AT END OF LIFE
Excellent communication skills and careful documentation are an important part of nursing practice, whether in the clinical or community setting (Perry & Potter, 2014). One of the fundamental aims for nurses in all areas is to safeguard the welfare of their patients and service users (RCN, 2007). This can be achieved by implementing and upholding good communication and documentation practice in every healthcare department (Miller & Cameron, 2011). This briefing paper will provide an insight into the complexities of communication and documentation in community nursing when caring for children at end of life. It will highlight the areas in need of development and it will propose two options for the improvement of communication and documentation between different healthcare professionals in the community. This paper will also discuss different leadership and management theories and will present recommendations of how these theories can be applied to each proposal.
Implementing weekly meetings with all healthcare professionals involved in the child’s care. Option B:
Developing a policy to implement parent-held records in the home to document the child’s care, treatment, potential problems and concerns.
On a recent practice placement opportunity with a children’s home care team, one of the main problems encountered was the insufficient communication and documentation both within the home care team and between the team and other healthcare professionals involved in the care of children at end of life. It soon became apparent that not only was the lack of good communication and documentation affecting the healthcare professionals involved, it also had an immense impact on the parents of the children at end of life. On witnessing the distress this was causing to all parties involved, it was suggested that either weekly meetings be held or parent-held records be implemented in the home. The remainder of this paper will discuss how to implement these procedures and will identify the advantages and disadvantages of both options with respect to the healthcare professionals and the families involved. It will also discuss the different leadership and management styles those in managerial positions would benefit from in order to implement each option.
Implementing weekly meetings with all healthcare professionals involved in the child’s care Aim:
To improve communication and documentation between different healthcare professionals involved in the child’s care and to promote a streamlined plan of care for children at end of life
Excellent communication between healthcare professionals is a vital component of effective end of life care in any setting (Lowery et al, 2012). However, it is even more important when communication and documentation crosses organisational boundaries (Gardner, 2003). When a child at end of life is being cared for in the home, numerous healthcare professionals will be involved. These include but are not limited to; community nurses, specialist nurses and doctors, GP’s, carers and social workers (DoH, 2009). Ensuring consistently good communication and documentation between all parties involved will guarantee excellent quality of care and it will enhance the patient and carer experience (Horwarth & Morrison, 2011). Healthcare professionals are faced with continuous change and it is important for those in managerial positions to develop various leadership and management styles in order to effectively manage complex situations (Grimm, 2010). In order for weekly meetings between all healthcare professionals involved in the child’s care to be implemented, the key worker tasked with organizing this would benefit...
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