Communication involves the exchange of messages and is a process which all individuals participate in. Whether it is through spoken word, written word, non-verbal means or even silence, messages are constantly being exchanged between individuals or groups of people (Bach & Grant 2009). All behaviour has a message and communication is a process which individuals cannot avoid being involved with (Ellis et al 1995).
In nursing practice, communication is essential, and good communication skills are paramount in the development of a therapeutic nurse/patient relationship. This aim of this essay is to discuss the importance of communication in nursing, demonstrating how effective communication facilitates a therapeutic nurse/patient relationship. This will be achieved by providing a definition of communication, making reference to models of communication and explaining how different types of communication skills can be used in practise.
In order to engage in meaningful communication and develop effective communication skills, nurses must engage in the process of reflecting on how communication skills are utilised in practise. Reflection allows the nurse opportunity to gain a deeper insight into personal strengths and weaknesses and to address any areas of concern in order to improve future practise (Taylor 2001). A further aim will be to reflect on how communication skills have been utilised within nursing practise. Various models of reflection will be examined, and a reflective account of a personal experience which occurred during placement will be provided using a model. This reflective account will involve a description the incident, an analysis of thoughts and feelings and an evaluation of what has occurred. Finally, the reflective account will include an action plan for a similar situation, which may arise, in the future.
Communication involves information being sent, received and decoded between two or more people (Balzer-Riley 2008) and involves the use of a number of communication skills; which in a nursing context generally focuses on listening and giving information to patients (Weller 2002). This process of sending and receiving messages has been described as both simple and complex (Rosengren 2000 in McCabe 2006, p.4). It is a process which is continually utilised by nurses to convey and receive information from the patient, co-workers, others they come into contact with and the patient’s family.
Models of Communication.
The Linear Model is the simplest form of communication and involves messages being sent and received by two or more people (McCabe 2006). Whilst this model demonstrates how communication occurs in its simplest form, it fails to consider other factors impacting on the process. Communication in nursing practice can be complicated, involving the conveyance of large amounts of information, for example, when providing patients with information relating to their care and treatment or when offering...