Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness
Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

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Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

1 Applying your learning: learning from medical staff

In 2016, the BBC were permitted to film in St Mary’s hospital in London to capture the day-to-day interactions of medical practitioners. The way they interact with each other and the public is illuminating for people working in sport and fitness.

Described image
Figure 1 Communication in hospitals needs to be excellent.

Activity 1 Learning from medical staff

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

There are two clips in this video-related activity, which focus on sustaining relationships in a busy hospital. The first clip is the morning teleconference update, focusing on bed space in the hospital; the second is a preparatory meeting of a surgeon and their patient who is having a surgery to treat cancer.

There is a question for each clip:

Clip 1 (teleconference): To what extent is Lesley’s (Hospital Site Director) informal teleconferencing tone appropriate to sustaining working relationships?

Clip 2 (surgeon and patient): How successfully does Dr George Reese convey that he is patient-centred?

Download this video clip.Video player: Clip 1
Skip transcript: Clip 1

Transcript: Clip 1

[MUSIC PLAYING]

LESLEY POWLS
Right, good morning, everybody. Shall we begin? I've seen the gang at Charing Cross. Good morning, Charing Cross.
NURSE (ON SPEAKERPHONE)
Morning, good morning.
LESLEY POWLS
Do you want to just talk us through your screen this morning?
NARRATOR
Lesley Powls is the site director at St. Mary's, the biggest of the five hospitals in London's Imperial College Health Care NHS Trust. Every morning she leads a conference call with the other hospitals to plan the day. The focus is always the same. How many empty beds have they got?
NURSE (ON SPEAKERPHONE)
There's currently no cubicles anywhere in A&E to see any new patients.
LESLEY POWLS
OK, so not a great start to a Monday morning for you guys then. The first call of the day is to kind of take the temperature of what's gone on overnight and what our beds look like going forward for the next couple of hours. Let's go to St. Mary's. So as you can see, we're in a very similar position to Charing Cross this morning. Very full and busy ED screen. Let's just have a look at the beds. It's probably easier for me to say what we've got, which is absolutely nothing at the moment. So really, priorities for us this morning are to sort out the rest of the unplaced patients in the emergency department before we do anything else. We'll pick up surgical electives in about 10 minutes. All right. And I think will go out on red this morning then. OK. Thank you very much, everybody. We'll speak again at lunchtime.
End transcript: Clip 1
Clip 1
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
Download this video clip.Video player: Clip 2
Skip transcript: Clip 2

Transcript: Clip 2

NARRATOR
George Reese's cancer patient Alladdio's operation is already two hours behind schedule.
SURGEON
I've decided not to get frustrated. There's nothing I can do to fix this problem. So I will trust that the people who are doing it are doing their very best. Morning.
PATIENT
How are you?
SURGEON
How are you? Hello, we didn't get to meet last time.
PATIENT
No, no we didn't.
SURGEON
I just wanted to set the scene of today a bit. At the moment, they haven't given us permission to start the operation because there isn't a bed in the hospital. But they're working on it. And when I know, you will know.
PATIENT
Lovely.
SURGEON:
Is there anything you wanted to ask me?
PATIENT
No.
FRIEND
I'm just would like to speak about some parking outside. It cost me. Now it's 10 pounds, 80 p [INAUDIBLE]. Because if we're going to be here all day, that's going to cost me an arm and a leg.
SURGEON
I kind of meant is there anything you wanted to ask me about the operation or about the surgery today?
PATIENT
No.
SURGEON
OK.
End transcript: Clip 2
Clip 2
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Discussion

She uses an informal manner (e.g. ‘the gang at Charing Cross’; ‘you guys’). However, informal does not mean ineffective in sustaining relationships; the meeting is conducted briskly and the essential information is communicated. For example, notice how she closes the meeting by using the words ‘our focus’ to describe the immediate tasks ahead. The reminder of the time of the next meeting demonstrates clear task-related communication.

Dr Reese demonstrates his patient-centred approach by sitting at the same eye level as his patient; he smiles and updates his patient as to why there is a delay. He re-assures by saying ‘as soon as I know, you’ll know’ in relation to bed availability. He asks if his patient has any questions and remains unruffled when the issue of car parking costs is raised by the patient’s friend; he politely re-focuses the conversation.

By using this medical example you will be able to begin to make sense of how you and others maintain and perhaps build you own working relationships.

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