Communication in Nursing

Topics: Communication, Nursing, Nonverbal communication Pages: 12 (3861 words) Published: October 29, 2009
IntroductionThis assignment will cover the theory on the importance of communication in nursing, aided by a reflective account of a clinical placement experience. The clinical placement reflection will highlight the importance of how communication had a very relevant role upon a situation encountered on placement, and its support of the communication theory.

The situation that will be addressed was with a patient with whom I had cared extensively for over the course of a six-week placement. For confidentiality reasons, The Code of Professional Conduct (NMC, 2008) will be abided by, and the patients name will be changed to a pseudonym of Mr Peter Jacobs.

The communication process, as Ellis et al (2003) acknowledge; is a process of interacting with one or more people using a basic process of a sender, a receiver and a message set within a particular context, that is used via means of both verbal and non-verbal messages.

Understanding the basic principles of communication should be a fundamental skill of any nurse, and though every nurse will be taught this skill, still a proportion of nurses, as Craven and Hirnle (2006) explain; will forget to communicate with their clients, or colleagues, when undertaking technical tasks, etc.

Whilst maintaining a professional, holistic and efficient means of communication process with a patient, a nurse should not forget that applying the same approach with his/her colleagues is equally important. Assumptions between colleagues should never be advised, as a nurse may have arrived late during the hand-over process, or may not have had time to look at a patients amended care plan, card-ex, etc. This could then lead to inappropriate care given to a patient, which in turn, could lead to all manners of implications.

The importance of communication within the nursing field shall be addressed with obtained theory from professional/creditable researchers. This theory will then be followed by a personal reflection of a clinical experience that will support the theory obtained, leading to an overall conclusion on the importance of communication in nursing.

The Importance of Communication in NursingCommunication is a fundamental aspect of social interaction, and as Riley (2008) explains; it involves the reciprocal process in which messages are sent and received between two or more people. This process can be observed by means of verbal or nonverbal interaction. Many differing models of the process have been explained over the years, though nearly all have the same fundamental aspect of interaction that incorporates the process of communication. Riley (2008) highlights this process by means of, the sender transmits his/her own thoughts and feelings, which are then decoded by the receiver, who then it turn encodes a message and sends it back to the original sender, who then decodes it. This process is then continued until all required information is given or received.

When implementing the nursing process, communication plays a vital role in the continuation of care. Alfaro-LeFevre (2005) defines the nursing process as five interrelated steps that consist of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Without efficient communication between a nurse and the patient, or colleagues, it would put a strain, or even abruptly end the organization and prioritization of patient care, the patient's health status or quality of life, as well as the confidence and motivation of a nurse to think critically in a clinical setting.

The ability of communicating effectively with others could be the difference between relationships becoming long term or short, or even the difference between life and death, and in respect to the daily demands of a nurse, time is of the essence. A nurse needs to effectively give, or receive information decisively and correctly, whilst continuing to maintain a positive interpersonal relationship with the patient/client. The nurse has to be...

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Craven, R. F. and Hirnle, C. J. (2006). Fundamentals of Nursing (5th edn). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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* Patients name changed to the pseudonym of Mr Peter Jacobs to abide by the NMC (2008) confidentiality guidelines.
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