Home | News | More than chit-chat: demystifying nurse-patient interactions

More than chit-chat: demystifying nurse-patient interactions

“How are you feeling today?”

It’s a question nurses ask that patients might consider a simple pleasantry, but nurses know there’s much more behind it than that – and a new videographic captures that contrast.

Developed by Dr Kasia Bail, assistant professor of nursing at the University of Canberra, the video introduces viewers to Kate, a nurse, and Bob, a patient who is recovering from emergency hernia repair surgery.

It then walks them through a typical nurse-patient interaction, all the while speech bubbles pop up next to Kate to show what she’s thinking while speaking with Bob, detailing the assessments, planning and interventions behind her questions and comments.

Bail hoped to help demystify what may be construed as ‘chit-chat’ between nurses and patients and reframe it for what it is.

The deep dive was designed to help nurses explain their practice and decision-making in team discussions with project managers, as well as to IT staff designing health information systems.

Bail said while IT people, business analysts and project managers do excellent work in understanding complex and unique nursing workflows in different settings and clinical environments, it can be difficult to meet everyone’s needs and to come to a shared understanding when the work of each contributor is so different.

"Clinical nurses are often invited to contribute, but so are executive nurses, and they may have very different opinions about what is the most important workflow decision for the IT product.

"There are also many examples (not mine) where nurses are given a system that’s been developed without their input at all.

"There are also examples where the IT vendor has done exactly what the nurse and nurse managers have asked for, but then it’s not what they actually wanted once they start trying to deliver care – for example, they don’t want decimal points in the fluid balance chart, and then they get a patient with an insulin infusion that does need decimal points in the documentation."

She added better understanding of the various aspects involved in providing quality patient care can potentially bring about improved processes.

The project was sponsored by HESTA, Guy Downes studios and Bail’s own crowdfunding campaign, for which she exceeded her $5444 target.

Bail said: “The support I received for this project through my crowdfunding campaign supported my view that there is a need to improve care for older people in hospitals.”

Those interested in being involved in a Delphi survey related to the videographic and implementing digital health projects can contact Bail at [email protected].

Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the top stories in our weekly newsletter Sign up now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *