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Importance Of A Therapeutic Relationship In Nursing

1506 words - 6 pages

Therapeutic relationship is an essential part of nursing; it is the foundation of nursing (CNO, 2009). The National Competency Standard for Registered Nurses state that nurses are responsible for “establishing, sustaining and concluding professional relationship with individuals/groups.” Throughout this essay the importance of forming a therapeutic relationships will be explained. The process of building a therapeutic relationship begins from prior to time of contact with a patient, the interpersonal skills of the nurse; then the process includes skills required by the nurse to communicate effectively, including respect, trust, non-judgment and empathy. The way to portray these skills can be via verbal or non-verbal cues that are important to understand how they influence a person. The process and skills listed below are all relevant to nurses working in the contemporary hospital environment today.

Interpersonal skills are the life skills we use every day to communicate and interact with people. “To effectively communicate we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding to guide to our communication with others.” (Anthony Robbin). It is important for the nurse to be aware of the effects of their personal values and beliefs can have on their patients. For example working in a surgical ward a nurse was discussing with other colleagues about a certain patient who was in the holding bay, talking negatively about her lifestyle choices, when approaching the patient for the first time when arriving into the suite, she refused treatment from any of the nurse staff on the shift as she was upset at the things the nurse had said. First impressions influence people’s judgments of others and their willingness to engage in any further communication (Boc and Franklin, 2013). It is therefore important to ensure that the nurse understand the roles that their interpersonal skills play within the nurse-patients interaction/relationship.

Therapeutic relationship has been linked with better outcomes when it has been established; clients feel and increase in empowerment that results in adherence and improved healing. Establishing a therapeutic relationship begins initially with adequate introductions; professional introductions (explaining role, procedure) & building a rapport with the patient/client. Foster and Hawkins (2005, p. 698) discussed the importance of establishing a therapeutic relationship, as it provides the base of the therapeutic relationship, which will depend on the client’s willingness to contribute in the counseling situation. Introduction of the situation is important and should include explaining the role, the procedure and the constraints dependant on the role (including explain boundaries of the relationship), as well as knowing the expectations of the patient. Four key points that a nurse should always show is respect, trust, non-judgmental (positive regards) approach & empathy when...

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