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The Importance Of Effective Interpersonal Communication In The Nursing Profession Notre Dame Health Communications Essay

1690 words - 7 pages

Although communication occurs constantly throughout all professions, it is especially important within nursing to prevent complaints, misdiagnosis and fatalities (O’Toole, 2016). Communication is a process whereby information is shared through verbal and non-verbal exchanges, and people develop relationships by interacting in this way (Bramhall, 2014). However, unforeseen circumstances may challenge people, even with remarkable communication skills, and hence it is crucial for nurses in particular to have an understanding of interpersonal communication to strengthen the power of effective nursing care (Sheldon, Barret, & Ellington, 2006). Maintaining communication in stressful healthcare environments also requires an awareness of self and others in addition to advanced interpersonal skills due to the strain placed on nurses to meet people’s language and communication needs ( Bramhall, 2014). This essay will address three levels of communication within a health care setting; between nurses, between nurses and patients, and between nurses and multidisciplinary teams to highlight the importance of effective interpersonal communication skills within nursing.
According to Kourkouta and Papathanasiou (2014), “good communication between nurses and patients is essential for the successful outcome of the individualized nursing care of each patient.” Due to the unique role of nurses, they spend a large portion of their shift liaising with patients and listening to their feelings, needs and concerns (Sheldon et al., 2006). Therefore, a person-centred approach to service requires nurses to understand these patients’ needs and expectations regarding their personal healthcare and wellbeing, and also compels them to communicate clearly with carers and family whom are devoted to setting up shared goals and priorities for healthcare (Higgs, Ajjawi, McAllister, Trede, & Loftus, 2012). In this way, nurses can ensure that all members involved in the care of the patient are well-informed and hence build rapport and positive relationships. Another factor that demands effective interpersonal communication between nurses and their patients is the inability of some patients to advocate for themselves (Vertino, 2014). This is not only restricted by patients with speech impediments, but can also be limited by language barriers and cultural differences. Rosse, Bruijne, Suurmond, Essink-Bot and Wagner (2015) found that these barriers were a threat to quality hospital care and in particular, threatened patient safety during daily nursing tasks such as medication administration, pain management and fluid balance management. As it is the responsibility of nurses to collect and document data, communication with the patient is required to allow them to attain subjective information and hence, it is crucial to minimise communication barriers between patients and nurses. Jacobs, Shepard, Suaya and Stone (2003) found that providing professional interpreter services was the most...

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