Room 406 Case Questions

Room 406 Case Questions

Communication is an essential aspect of efficient service delivery in an organization. When noise is present, it forms a barrier that impedes proper communication, and the outcome can be as dire as death in the situation of a hospital set up. From the case, it is evident that supervisor Flemings held a higher position and authority as compared to Simmons, and this became a barrier to proper communication. She considered her need to go home to be more important than taking time to explain the situation articulately. It is possible she regarded Simmons as her junior and found no reason to offer a detailed explanation which would present a hierarchical barrier (Lancaster, Kolakowsky‐Hayner, Kovacich, & Greer‐Williams, 2015). The noise prevalent in her mind hindered the supervisor from having adequate time to hand over and explain in details what she meant. For instance, she should have clarified that the room being empty meant that Mr. Youstra had died and the shift nurses would take his body to the morgue, and also communicate to the family, particularly the wife, regarding the death. The noise also prevented Flemings from elaborating what was already accomplished and what was yet to be done. Simmons, on the other hand, took whatever her senior said as the state of things because of the noise and failed to do a keen check to ascertain that the things were so.

It is evident that there was no formal document depicting the organizational communication policy that relates to how reliefs and handover should be done. The lack of these procedures made the two supervisors to be casual and assume some things that needed to be done. The structural set-up of upward communication could have hindered Simmons from asking questions or clarification from Fleming (Wagner, Bezuidenhout, & Roos, 2015). The channel for communication between the two nurses also seems inappropriate, thus becoming a barrier to proper communication. The communication through word of mouth alone is inadequate to provide all the information that Simmons needed during her shift before the next relief. Additionally, the poor timing when the communication happened seems to have presented an obstacle to proper communication. Fleming’s time of departure was at hand, and thus, she wanted to do as fast as she could to ensure that she has left the premises on time. Also, it seems that there was information overload, in that, so much information within a short span of time which hindered the reception of the message.

Miscommunication would have been avoided by having a policy that the relief arrives thirty minutes before her shift starts such that Fleming would have had an ample time to detail Simmons (Leathers & Eaves, 2015). Also, a written form would have allowed to know in details what has been accomplished and what has not. Providing the required details would have helped Ann Simmons to understand that room 406’s patient had passed on but the body was still there. The formal structure of handing over would have ensured that miscommunication was avoided. That would provide precision and clarity ensuring that Simmons got the information and had ample time to address the issues (Wagner, Bezuidenhout, & Roos, 2015). Finally, Fleming should have emphasized room 406 given that death had occurred and communication to different parties was essential and needed to be done promptly.


Lancaster, G., Kolakowsky‐Hayner, S., Kovacich, J., & Greer‐Williams, N. (2015). Interdisciplinary communication and collaboration among physicians, nurses, and unlicensed assistive personnel. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(3), 275-284.

Leathers, D.G., & Eaves, M. (2015). Successful nonverbal communication: Principles and applications. New York, NY: Routledge.

Lipitz-Snyderman, A., Kale, M., Robbins, L., Pfister, D., Fortier, E., Pocus, V., … & Weingart, S.N. (2017). Peers without fears? Barriers to effective communication among primary care physicians and oncologists about diagnostic delays in cancer. BMJ Qual Saf, bmjqs-2016.

Mosley, D.C., Megginson, L.C., & Pietri, P.H. (1985). Supervisory management: The art of working with and through people. Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western.

Wagner, J.D., Bezuidenhout, M.C., & Roos, J.H. (2015). Communication satisfaction of professional nurses working in public hospitals. Journal of Nursing Management, 23(8), 974-982.

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