A critical review of what has been noted about the four principles of interpersonal communication demonstrates that King (2000) has provided the definitive source for reviewing these issues. According to King, interpersonal communication is: inescapable, irreversible, complicated and contextual. Using these four principles as a basis for research, the current investigation provides a review of each of the four principles and the implication of each of these principles for the nursing professional. A situation is described in which the four principles of interpersonal communication are examined along with a review of how these principles can strengthen and enhance communication in the nursing environment.
The Four Principles
Interpersonal Communication is Inescapable
The idea of interpersonal communication as inescapable is grounded in the idea that regardless of what the professional does, interpersonal communication will be a necessary component of human interaction. In the context of nursing practice, Aled (2007) argues that the issue of interpersonal communication and its prominence in nursing has become such a central issue that professional nursing standards now consider the development and use of communication as integral components to best practice in healthcare. Interpersonal communication is such an important and common part of nursing practice that is essential for practitioners to know how to effectively engage in this process to promote the best outcomes for patients.
The inescapable nature of interpersonal communication is one which has notable implications for the nursing professional. Even if the nurse does not directly engage with patients, he or she must engage with colleagues and contribute to the development of nursing practice. This process is one which will require the nurse to hone communication skills such that interactions with others can be optimized, information can be effectively shared and care can be provided in a comprehensive manner. Regardless of the nurses' specific assignment, interpersonal communication is unavoidable.
Interpersonal Communication is Irreversible
Considering next the development of interpersonal communication as irreversible, Charlton, Dearing, Berry and Johnson (2008) provide a clear example of this issue in the context of nursing practice. As reported by these authors, research has consistently demonstrated that the interpersonal communication which takes place between patient and nurse can influence the health outcomes of the patient. If the communication is positive and supportive, the patient may be more likely to engage in health practices which benefit health. Thus, the interpersonal communication used by the nurse can and will have an irreversible impact on the health of the patient. Recognition of this issue is critical to protecting and improving the health outcomes of patients.
The data provided by Charlton, et al., (2008) clearly demonstrates that impact of...