In the course of my work at the county jail, I interact with a variety of colleagues on a daily basis that extends beyond the scope of my regular interactions with patients. These patients, inmates housed at the jail, contribute to an interactive social network that includes ongoing dialogue with sheriff deputies. As shown on the social interactive map, each relationship involves certain methods of communication using various forms of technology and face-to-face conversations. As each method carries its own social overtones, it remains certain that the medium comprises a part of the message. As a registered nurse, beyond the completion of assigned tasks, it is my responsibility to understand what relationships are portrayed and how they represent my daily work activities. In addition, I will explore how collaboration with colleagues affects my work quality, productivity, and innovation. In addressing these issues, I will more engage in efficient communication methods with a clear understanding of social overtones.
At my job, a total of nine different relational interactions take place between colleagues and patients. With my nursing colleagues (RNs, LVNs, and CNAs) as well as my manager and supervisor, communication occurs on a variety of levels. Besides face-to-face talking, I also engage in phone conversations and email communication to maintain multiple levels of interaction. In interacting with the deputy sheriff, I utilize face-to-face talking and phone conversation. In the case of doctors and pharmacists, only phone conversation is necessary. Finally, I only communicate with inmates on the basis of face-to-face talking. These composite relationships come together to form the whole of my communication paradigm.
Electronic communication provides an extension of human interaction capabilities. Described by Ljungqvist (2008) as a push channel, it remains the responsibility of the sender to establish the implied meaning of the communication (p. 4). In doing so, messages should be direct with a clear subject line and a clear indicator if further information or action is required (Ljungqvist, 2008, p. 2). As part of daily work activity, such action is relevant to efficient work.
Technology, as an extension of the human body, makes way for certain healthcare innovation advantages and limitations. With the gaining of one new ability, an older ability often falls away and becomes amputated (Kappelman, 2001, p. 2). Kappelman (2001) describes this amputation in the example of an archer who lost his abilities as his skills are rendered useless in the development of firearms (p. 3). However, the advantages remain limited as useful amputations fall away. In the context of phone conversations, people can forget to smile and engage when they talk with others, thereby rendering their push channel message less resonant than it could be with the receiving party. In my job as a registered nurse, I recognize the importance of maintaining the warmth of face-to-face conversation in spite of the extensions afforded by technology.
Work with colleagues involves various degrees of collaboration as highlighted above. Fundamentally, nurses recognize that their competency depends on the ability to push information that is "accessible, acceptable, and accurate, and that meets patients’ and clients’ needs . . . actively and consistently," in order to "ensure continuity, safety and quality of health care for all" (Casey & Wallis, 2011, p. 1). No matter what level of collaboration, such descriptors set a quality benchmark in the nursing profession.
Through clear medium-based collaboration methods, I may improve on my workplace productivity and innovation abilities. To ensure productivity, tactics include a fundamental acceptance of responsibility to ensure that messages are effectively delivered thereby saving wasted energy in misunderstandings and repeat messages. In innovation, one must be sensitive to the nature of the message involved when dealing with colleagues to ensure proper reception. The realization of these qualities will contribute to a dynamic social network that addresses needs.
Casey, A., & Wallis, A. (2011, February 8). Effective communication: Principle of nursing practice E. RCN Publishing Company. Retrieved from http://www.rcn.org.uk/__data/ assets/pdf_file/0005/380795/Nursing_Standard_Principle_E_April11_563KB.pdf
Kappelman, T. (2001, January 1). Marshall McLuhan:"The Medium is the Message". Leader U. Retrieved from http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/mcluhan.html
Ljungqvist, J. (2008, January 1). Types of communication medium. The Communication Toolbox. Retrieved from http://www.communicationtoolbox.com/types_of_ communication_medium.html