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Reflective Journal

This reflective essay needs to show my reflection on the communication strategies focusing on empathy and sympathy in the chiropractic clinic environment. The essay need to refer to a reflective model (for example Gibbs model) to show understand of writing about personal reflections. There needs ot be introduction, main body and conclusions.

Below is the diary which will form the basis for the essay. Please do not my sentences as that will make the assignment non academic.

The first student I observed was Priya. I was focusing on observing the communication skills. The first client I saw was familiar with Priya. She told told her about the amount of stress she was in and that she was going through difficult time in her personal life. She was worried that this may have been affecting her health. Priya was just nodding in reply to confirm she was attentive to the client, while at the same time giving instruction to change positions. There was no signs of empathy.
I found that I no nothing about the empathy or sympathy and I found it confusing.

Another patient came to the clinic back problem. During intial consult the patient mentioned that she was de to get married soon and the chiropractic student focused all her attention on that subject. There was no more questions asked about the back issues. The conversation focused around the student’s plans to get married. During this observation I have noticed that the student imposed their own agenda on the patient’s visit.

3rd Observation new patient. I observed Choo who was very good in explaining the2 hour observation to new patients. She mentioned about the camera and the microphone. Also explained what they will be tested for. She put patient at ease. Even though Choo was very calm and knowladgable there was no warmth about her behaviour. It was almost rehearsed.

Existing patient appointment. The patient was not very well recently therefore could not do any exercises. Claire the student chiropractor was very empathetic and understanding, asking questions about the private life and thing tried and tested (in terms of getting their health better). The student was also sympathetic about the daughter being poorly.
While doing treatment Claire tried to maintain casual conversation. She was asking the questions about their wellbeing. Claire, was very attentive and her conversation was always focused on the patient. The focus on Claire’s treatments was patient agenda. This in my opinion was very good approach to the treatment.

2nd patient turned up with knee problem. The student began with explanation of how the knees work and then went onto the plan of care of 4 treatments over a months and to do review. The student also asked about patient’s wellbeing and and previous conditions. The conversation had a light and relaxed tone.
Treatment with Claire. Since I had a such good experience observing Claire. I had a treatment with her. The conversation was very light and very much focused on the condition at hand. Claire was no deviating from the subject and was very focused.

I was observing Priya again doing a follow up appointment on lady who is suffering from fibromyalgia.
The treatment begun with student asking patient questions about previous symptoms. Very quickly student found out that the patient was expecting quick fix from the treatment. Once again the communication with the patient was focused around two subjects: student’s wedding plans and patient’s son divorce. Student engaged in discussion about the divorce plans and engaged with her in talking in a bad manner about the daughter in law. That in my opinion was very unprofessional.
Second patient was an elderly gentleman who was 89 years old. The conversation topic was travel and ice cream shops. The student has not made an attempt to ask about patient’s wellbeing and how they were getting on with chiropractic. Soon the student started new toping of complaining about the local restaurants. My thoughts were the student was not focused on the task at hand and possibly felt uncomfortable with silence and felt the need to fill it in with an empty talk. Here my reflection has moved away from sympathy and empathy towards being comfortable with silence.

Later that day I was observing a student called Angela. Each conversation was client led. The first patient I observed was a follow up appointment. Angela had a communication patter when treating patients. First she would explain the treatment, ask about patient wellbeing and then ask couple of casual questions to relax the atmosphere. Her attitude was very caring she was going an extra mile to help the 69 year old lady to get on and off the bench. She was also ensuring that the patient was not in any discomfort.
Second patient was also a follow up patient. The student maintain very light and caring attitude through out. The patient was complaining about her GP and joking about their competence. Angela would not get engaged or carried on in the conversation. She kept the conversation casual and no longer referred to the subject.
Angle focused on explaining the positions throughout the treatment and assuring the pressure was correct. Small casual talk while doing the foot and arm mobilisations.

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