Communication in nursing: Best Guide

Communication in nursing is one of the most crucial parts of the care industry. In addition to interacting with colleagues in the care team, nurses work directly with patients. As a nurse, you must communicate with clients, relatives, physicians, experts, and administrative personnel.

What is communication in nursing?

Communication in nursing is the act of exchanging thoughts, information, and feelings using spoken words and other means to convey information in a hospital setting. A patient expresses their concerns and fears as a nurse helps determine the correct diagnosis.

What are the types of communication in nursing?

  • Formal communication
  • Verbal communication
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Informal communication

Principles of communication in nursing

  1. Bilateral

Effective organizational communication in nursing should be bilateral. A person sending a message should also be a receiver of the message. As a nurse, you should take the role of both the receiver and the sender of information.

  1. Understanding for all parties

Effective communication in nursing requires merely beyond understanding. The receiver must understand the message’s intention and the speaker’s expectations.

  1. Active listening

Patient centered communication in nursing may differ depending on the people interacting. The process through which the audience decrypts the speaker’s message is influenced by their perceptions and by personal factors.

Although there is a potential that the message will be understood just as the speaker meant, this may not happen. A key component of effective communication in nursing is active listening.

  1. Verbal and nonverbal communication

Verbal communication is the primary emphasis of much communication theory. Nevertheless, nonverbal clues must also be taken into account for effective communication. This insight is particularly valid in high-intensity settings, like most nurses, because verbal communication is often not enough.

  1. Good relationships

Efficient communication between medical personnel and patients depends on the therapeutic connection. Unfavorable medical news can make patients anxious, but caregivers can effectively manage their client’s mental health and show genuine concern when they have a therapeutic relationship. Clear communication among nurses and other medical professionals necessitates a secure and open environment.

  1. Conflict resolution

A good relationship is the foundation of effective communication. Conflict is not always negative as many people think. Conflict communication can only be successful when it is respectful. When in disagreement, listeners and speakers should keep an open mind because doing so will make it easier for them to accept good alternate ideas. However, not all disputes can be settled. Indeed, if there are differences in a patient’s alternative treatments, nurses should keep an open mind to other points of view.

  1. Accuracy

The importance of accuracy for clear communication cannot be overstated. Accuracy should serve as a guiding concept for all nursing communicators, whether they provide or receive information. When information is transmitted from one individual to another, it can quickly become twisted. Thus, nurses should speak directly with those they need to interact with because of this.

The 5 cs of communication in nursing

  1. Competence
  2. Compassio9n
  3. Commitment
  4. Confidence
  5. conscience

Why is communication important in nursing?

The ability of the caregiver to convey pertinent information to others demonstrates the significance of communicating in nursing. Between the patients and several professions, nurses act as a middleman. Every shift concludes with a hand-off report from the nurses. This entails giving the physician, whose duty is closing, an oral account to a nurse whose duty is beginning. The patient is taken care of, and the nurses beginning their shift should comprehensively understand every patient’s care. This transfer must be done efficiently and clearly. Patients might not be able to get the necessary treatment they are obliged to if this isn’t accomplished.

Any healthcare provider should be able to refer back to an excellent medical note and comprehend the care given and the patient’s current state of health. Adequate documentation is crucial to nursing since these are contractually enforceable documents that can be examined in court.

Nurses also interact with other medical experts in a collective effort to assist patients. Medical professionals, registered nutrition experts, physiotherapists, speech therapists, and other nurses report on the patient’s condition. Nurses act as a link between patients and other medical professionals by providing daily direct care to patients.

Nurses can liaise between patients and their loved ones in some healthcare settings. A nurse must notify the patient’s family of any changes to their condition. The nurse will contact the family to inform them if a person falls or if an illness worsens. To effectively perform their function as healthcare communicators, nurses must be proficient in precise communication techniques.

Factors that influence communication in nursing

  1. Emotional difference
  2. Cultural diversity
  3. Misinterpretation of the message
  4. Positional differences
  5. Past experiences
  6. Relationship between sender and receiver

Speaking with patients

The communication process between nurses and patients starts with their initial encounter and continues until a patient is discharged. If the nurse wishes to build a good relationship with the patient, they must practice empathetic communication in nursing. If the dialogue is performed in a suitable setting, this will occur. Even though it appears essential, it should be stressed that the nurse must be kind.

Although the nurse should make the patient feel at ease, they must maintain their reputation and avoid misunderstandings. A crucial component is a requirement for a quiet setting free from outside disturbances, which guarantees sufficient conversation privacy.

We frequently observe serious conversations happening in the center of the hospital’s outpatient clinic, nurse unit, clinic, or office while visitors unconnected to the patient’s treatment are coming and going. The patients feel embarrassed to express themselves openly in such a setting.

The Greek health service has little to no understanding of privacy. In public halls or rooms without screening, skilled nursing procedures are performed on patients. Hospital guests and patients can walk freely across the administrative and clinical departments. However, to improve gradually, we must teach our coworkers, particularly the new nurses and their patients.

Barriers of communication in nursing

  1. Language barriers

Sometimes a patient may speak a different language with the nurse leading to noneffective communication.

  1. Noise and mental distress

Internal noise affects the communication process. Anxiety and fear can affect the ability to listen to a nurse. The first step in improving communication is to reduce any chances of anxiety, anger, and distress.

  1. Personal barriers

When a nurse feels like a patient is speaking too fast or not articulating, they may dismiss the patient. People may talk to those they think are rich and ignore the ones who seem to come from low class.

  1. Difficulty with hearing and speech

Following diseases like strokes or brain injury, people may have trouble speaking and hearing. Trauma or stroke may impair the physiology or parts of the brain that are ordinarily responsible for understanding and producing speech. These will act as roadblocks to clear communication.

  1. Cultural barriers

Cultural communication in nursing affects how different patients are treated. The culture of a patient may block effective communication with nurses. As a nurse, you must be sensitive when dealing with people from different cultures.

  1. Conflict

Conflict is a frequent result of a disagreement between two or more people. Conflict can be beneficial because it presents different points of view and beliefs. However, when the mental “noise” interferes with the task or objective, it turns into a communication obstacle. Nurses strive for collaboration in their interactions with patients, families, and coworkers.

  1. Certain medication

Medication can significantly affect a person’s capacity and desire to communicate. For instance, it may result in the dry mouth or excessive salivation, vomiting, and heartburn, all of which impact an individual’s ability and willingness to converse. Patients may be hesitant to talk if they are ashamed or worried that they won’t be able to communicate clearly or regulate their mouths.

Ways to improve communication in nursing

When you understand the role of communication in nursing, you will find ways to improve ways of communicating. As a result, both the nurses and the patients should work towards improving it. Some of the ways to improve communication include;

  • Listening carefully without interrupting the sender
  • Showing empathy every time and trying to understand the sender
  • Trying to focus on the conversation
  • Using body language to show concern and interest
  • Offering factual information
  • Reflecting on the patients’ thoughts by rephrasing comments and questions using their words
  • Avoiding misleading and unclear messages
  • Providing a quest environment without any distractions
  • Being fully attentive
  • Being convincing

Therapeutic communication

Therapeutic communication is purposeful as opposed to social communication. Nurses have to achieve this when communicating. This helps reduce the effects of ineffective communication in nursing. The following is the purpose of communication in nursing essay;

  1. Assessing a patient

As a nurse, you need to know more about patients to understand their ailments. This conversation can be a structured interview to understand a patient. This is where evidence-based communication in nursing takes place.

  1. Instructing a patient

Instructing a patient may be informal or formal communication where a few facts are given to elaborate the session. You should study different methodologies of communication in nursing while instructing a patient.

  1. Problem-solving

When a patient shares their problem with a nurse, you analyze it and try to solve it.

  1. Emotional support

Emotional support helps eradicate the loneliness of the patient and increases dignity. As a nurse, try to be empathetic to understand their experiences.

To sum up

Communication in nursing facilitates the healing process of a patient. Effective communication has to occur, from assessing a patient to discharging them. This involves patients, nurses, and other workers in a healthcare setup.

To ensure effective communication in nursing, nurses must identify any communication barriers and try to eradicate them. It would help if you made the patient feel at ease to tell you all the issues and ailments.

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