What is Process Recording?

Process recording is an educational tool that accesses the communication skills of students seeking certifications or degrees in nursing, social work, and similar jobs. Understanding what it is and knowing how to use it effectively have mutual benefits for the student and the instructor. The forms used to collect data often vary, but they essentially gather information about the interviewee and the interviewer. The data from the assessment will show the student, who is the interviewer, how he or she can improve his or her ability to communicate with patients, clients, and others.

The Form Is Essential for Data Collecting

The form used to gather the data is an important element in this instructive technique. Some forms collect extensive data, such as the student's emotions and thoughts, but others gather a minimal amount of information, such as this three-column form. All forms start with the patient or client's name, the student's name, and an analysis of the conversation. Students use the information to improve their communication and interaction skills, therefore, forms requiring more detail are often more constructive. Instructors use the written record to focus the student's interpersonal communication training on his or her weak areas and reinforce the student's strengths.

How to Use the Process of Analyzing Interviews

Students can use the analysis system during clinical trial work or during role-playing sessions, which are helpful preludes to doing in-field interviews. One valuable technique is to have each student observe a session and fill out the forms individually. By monitoring these practice sessions, students learn to focus their own observation skills. Reviewing what others noticed in the practice sessions can help students determine what is important to become aware of and record.

Writing down the conversation with the patient or client is only one part of the process, and the student should try to remember it verbatim or as accurately as possible. In addition to the verbal communication, the student should record details, such as the other person's attitude, physical presence, and his or her own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Often, a patient or client's words and his or her body language are not in harmony. When an objective witness also records the interview, the student can learn about how to effectively interact and help others. This impartial analysis is one of the most powerful tools in a student's education.

Identifying Transference and Countertransference with Process Recording

Two of the hardest phenomena to identify in one's interaction with others are transference and countertransference. The process of recording the student's interactions can help reveal any inclination for transference or countertransference. The instructor or others should note incidents of these phenomena on the form because the student is usually unaware of this behavior. Both transference and countertransference can negatively affect a nurse or social worker's effectiveness. Therefore, it is beneficial to recognize the tendency during the technique of recording the sessions of interpersonal interactions.

Although it is difficult to accurately evaluate one's own performance, learning to use this technique for personal analysis improves the student's interpersonal skills. Nursing and social work depends upon effective interaction with patients and clients, and process recording is an educational tool that sharpens the student's people skills, increases the student's awareness of others, and provides information for planning more successful sessions in the future.

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