What is Effective Communication?
Effective communication is key to all clinical care, particularly in the maternity services, where there may be multiple handovers of care. Communication is effective only if the relevant information is actually made available to, and understood by, those who need to act on it. The King’s Fund (2008). Effectively communicating ensures that you not only deliver your message to someone but also let them know about how you feel in a certain situation. Birth can be stressful, and so effectively communicating with each other is very significant to ease the burdens nit just the mothers but also your midwifery staff.
In midwifery, communication plays a vital role in the success of every childbirth, where there can be multiple handovers depending upon the length of labor; transfers between home and hospital, often in emergencies; and referrals between midwives or obstetricians. Unsafe care can be caused by insufficient communication and failure to make sure that information is understood and received. The maternity teams emphasized the importance of improving communication in their improvement projects.
In order to provide better services for patients through effective communication, the World Health Organization (WHO) provided recommendations published last February 2018 stating “effective communication between maternity care providers and women in labor, using simple and culturally acceptable methods, is recommended”
- In the absence of a standardized definition of “effective communication”, the GDG agreed that effective communication between maternity care staff and women during labor and childbirth should include the following, as a minimum.
- Introducing themselves to the woman and her companion and addressing the woman by her name;
- Offering the woman and her family the information they need in a clear and concise manner (in the language spoken by the woman and her family), avoiding medical jargon, and using pictorial and graphic materials when needed to communicate processes or procedures;
- Respecting and responding to the woman’s needs, preferences and questions with a positive attitude;
- Supporting the woman’s emotional needs with empathy and compassion, through encouragement, praise, reassurance and active listening;
- Supporting the woman to understand that she has a choice, and ensuring that her choices are supported;
- Ensuring that procedures are explained to the woman, and that verbal and, when appropriate, written informed consent for pelvic examinations and other procedures is obtained from the woman;
- Encouraging the woman to express her needs and preferences, and regularly updating her and her family about what is happening, and asking if they have any questions;
- Ensuring that privacy and confidentiality is maintained at all times;
- Ensuring that the woman is aware of available mechanisms for addressing complaints;
- Interacting with the woman’s companion of choice to provide clear explanations on how the woman can be well supported during labor and childbirth.
- Health systems should ensure that maternity care staff are trained to national standards for competency in interpersonal communication and counselling skills.
Effective communication is a skill that everyone must improve. You can speak but not everyone will understand how you meant. You can give orders, but not everyone will follow. You can state a point but now everyone will listen. It truly depends how you communicate effectively in the right place with the right people.
Who recommendation on effective communication between Maternity Care Providers and women in Labor. WHO – RHL. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2022, from https://srhr.org/rhl/article/who-recommendation-on-effective-communication-between-maternity-care-providers-and-women-in-labour
Other Topic: Communication is Key to Success or Failure in Midwifery Business https://midwiferybusinessconsultation.com/communication-is-key-to-success-or-failure-in-midwifery-business/