Why is it important to communicate effectively?
As nurses, it is our job to reassure and provide precise and correct information to our patients and their relatives. We need to be able to know how to communicate in relation to the circumstances. To be sure we are communicating in the most appropriate way possible we need to be aware of what we are dealing with first. If we know the circumstances in which we are dealing with we have a better chance of delivering our message effectively.
There are different forms of communicating with people, some are- Oral
Objects of reference
Music and drama
Good communication skills are required to carry out your responsibilities as health care professionals. For example if you are working with an individual who has dementia, there can be many difficulties, especially when the disease progresses, that we need to be aware of.
Oral communication is communicating by word of mouth. It is the most commonly used form of communication as we use it in our day to day lives on a regular basis. As nurses, we have to deliver messages to our patients effectively and so that they fully understand what is being said. Oral communication is used best when you need to get across information quickly, also the patient is able to reply and ask questions, for example if the patient doesn’t understand a procedure you’re explaining to them, you are able to clarify it for them. Touch is a form of communication where you make physical contact with the person. Touch is often used to convey the feeling of care. This is effective because it shows that we as nurses have the patients’ best interests at heart. However we have to make sure that physical contact is appropriate for the situation. For example if a patient was upset due to positive test results for a serious disease or suchlike, you would comfort them by putting your arm around them or if you were meeting a new colleague or professional for the first time you would shake their hand and familiarise yourself with them.
Signing is using hand gestures to physically show your message to someone. It is affective for people who are unable are unable to communicate verbally such as deaf people or young infants. It is helpful because instead of saying words we are able to sign out messages to patients and or colleague’s. For example if we had to ask a patient if they were in any pain and they were deaf we could adapt our form of communication to signing our message to them or miming to them so they could interpret our movements or lip read to understand our message.
Objects of reference is where you use objects that you have accessible, in relation to your message to show the patient or colleague what you want them to know. This is effective because if you want to tell someone something and they are struggling to understand, you can use objects so they can make a picture in their mind and interpret that into a message. For example if you were dealing with a young toddler or a deaf person you could show them items and show them what you want them to do or know, like if you wanted them to have a drink you could show them a cup
Written communication is when we use text to give our message to people, it can come in many forms, hand written, on an electric device or printed etc. We often use written communication in situations where we have to be formal and professional as it is a more traditional form of communication. For example we may need to write down on a data sheet some important information from a check up on an ill patient, so we have to be clear and precise in our writing. However we could also be writing to a colleague to inform them of a patients progress or to a service user to inform them of the next time they have an appointment, in all these circumstances we have to be professional, formal and punctual. Music and drama is when we play sounds or act out things to...
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