Communicative Strategies in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Di Nicola, P
The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine : the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians 2010 Oct; 23 Suppl 3: 11-3
Counseling is a professional intervention based on skills to communicate and to build relationships. The project 'Not alone', related to counseling at our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, is aimed to let counseling become a 'shared culture' for all the care givers. The first essential aspect is to form the ability of counseling through periodic courses for all professionals of the department (physicians, nurses, and physiotherapists). In our department, a professional counselor is present assisting the medical staff in direct counseling. The counselor's intervention allows a better parent orientation in the situation. A more effective sharing of these rules also facilitates the communication among parents and medical staff. Periodic meetings are established among the medical staff, in which the professional counselor discusses difficult situations to share possible communicative strategies. We wanted to have not only a common communicative style, but also common subjects, independent from the characteristics of each of us. Individuals are often faced with diverse situations. For every setting that we more frequently face in communication (for example the first interview with a parent of a very preterm infant) we have built an 'algorithm' that follows a pattern: (1) information always given; (2) frequent questions from parents; and (3) frequent difficulties in the communication. We also need to record important moments, for instance the 'case history of the communication': in fact it would be desirable to have the case history, a sheet dedicated to important communications that are absolutely to be shared with other professionals.
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