Communication is an essential aspect of life without which life would not be worth living. It is a process that entails the transmission of an encoded message from a messenger to a receiver and back to the messenger or the sender in the form of response (Agarwal 265). An act will only be referred to as an effective communication strategy is the message travels from the sender to the receiver through a medium and back to the sender as a response to the communicated message. Different environmental settings use different jargons that can be understood by the particular people within the same setting, and a similar communication strategy may be understood differently in another setting (Cramm & Nieboer 897). Communication may either be made verbally or non-verbally while the sender of the information is obligated to understand his or her respondent’s situation so as to know how to best capture the attention of their audience during the process of communication (Francavilla 130). The aim of this paper is to highlight the essence of communication between nurses and patients in the hospital setting.
Nursing is a profession that specializes in meeting the needs of human beings as a biopsychosocial and spiritual creation. As such, the profession does not only depend on scientific knowledge based on the delivery of health care alone, rather, the profession also regards intellectual and interpersonal skills as well .as technical abilities with utmost importance (El-Jardali et al. 45). Consequently, the profession values clinical work, basic knowledge in disease management as well as interpersonal communication techniques. Effective communication is mandatory in all areas of nursing specialization including patient management at the prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, health education and promotion (Xu et al. 386). As a matter of fact, the science of nursing is acquired through dialogue and the creation of an interpersonal environment characterized by particular skills of verbal communication.
The complication in the process of communication between nurses and patients in the hospital setting is brought about by the situational parameters faced by the patients and their relatives (Yanchus et al. 754). In most cases, the patient and their families are vulnerable, especially because they are at a higher risk of responding to queries out of fear rather than from an analytical point of view. Most are the times when such patients or families may react with bitterness out of the fear of the unknown, yet the nurse is expected to understand what such people are going through and not take apparently arrogant responses personal (Xu et al. 392). It is the responsibility of the nurse to understand the circumstances surrounding the non-effective communication between themselves and their clients. Nurses without professional communication skills may end up engaging in verbal fights with patients and their families due to a failure to understand the environmental aspects surrounding the patient nurse-communication (Agarwal 276).
The communication between the nurse and the patient, if done effectively can become a therapeutic approach towards various non-communicable chronic diseases. One of the core aims of a nurse once assigned a patient is to establish a long-lasting friendly relationship. During such a relationship, the patient is supposed to find trust on the nurse and be able to confide in the nurse, sharing their fears and their feelings about the future with the nurse (Francavilla 131). As such the nurse can find out the best treatment plan for the patient, and in most cases, the length of hospital stay for some patients is reduced in this way. The nurse is also ethically obligated to create a conducive environment that can allow the patient to communicate their needs freely, especially considering the fact that some patients consider the nurses to be their only known relatives. In such a situation, the nurse needs to be ready to become a part of the patient’s family, being ready to share information regarding the patient’s health through an effective communication strategy (Agarwal 281).
Most of the patients admitted to the hospital are laypeople who would probably not understand any of the medical jargon most of the times used in hospital settings (Xu et al. 408). The nurse needs to understand this fact and follow up their patients after an encounter with the practitioner to find out whether the message communicated was understood. The practitioner may prescribe medications in the medical jargon for lack of more understandable words, but the nurse should at all times have a better language to communicate the prescriptions to the patient (Cramm & Nieboer 903). An early communication of symptoms of deadly diseases such as cancer can also be made by the patient whose relationship with the nurse provides a conducive environment for communication. Consequently, the patients benefit by achieving better treatment outcomes and finally experience reduced costs of medication as a result of effective communication with their nurses (Francavilla 132).
In conclusion, effective communication skills between patients and nurses are crucial for an individualized and patient-centered care. For such care to be achieved, the nurses need to show courtesy, kindness, and sincerity while helping their patients. The nurses also need to invest more time in their patients, offering services with high confidentiality, a situation that establishes a beneficial nurse-patient relationship for the patient.
Cramm, Jane Murray, and Anna Petra Nieboer. “The Importance of Productive Patient-Professional Interaction for the Well-being of Chronically Ill Patients.” Quality of Life Research 24.4 (2015): 897-903.
El-Jardali, Fadi, et al. “Predictors and Outcomes of Patient Safety Culture in Hospitals.” BMC Health Services Research 11 (2011): 45.
Francavilla, Carmen L. “Registered Nurse-Managed Anticoagulation Clinic: Improving Patient Outcomes.” Nursing Economics 26.2 (2008): 130-2.
Xu, Yu, et al. “Evaluation of an Intervention on Socio-Cultural Communication Skills of International Nurses.” Nursing Economics 28.6 (2010): 386, 92, and 408.
Yanchus, Nancy,J., et al. “Communication and Psychological Safety in Veterans Health Administration Work Environments.” Journal of Health Organization and Management 28.6 (2014): 754.
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