Why Communication in the Nursing Profession is Important?

By Lanette Anderson on Thu, Dec 26, 2013

We know that communication is the transfer of information between or among people. The practice of nursing utilizes constant communication between the nurse and the patient, the patient’s family, the nurse’s co-workers, supervisors, and many others.

Communication in nursing profession can be a complicated process, and the possibility of sending or receiving incorrect messages frequently exists. It is essential that we know the key components of the communication process, how to improve our skills, and the potential problems that exist with errors in communication.

Successful communication has three major components: a sender, a receiver, and a message. In nursing practice, we frequently have a great deal of information to send to others in a short period of time. To do this effectively, we need to know that there are factors which could influence how our message is interpreted. We must consider the setting in which the communication occurs, the past experiences and personal perceptions of both the sender and receiver, the timing of the message, etc. 

Breakdown in communication can cause negative outcomes. We all know how important it is to give a thorough patient report to the oncoming nurse at shift change. 

In situations where this does not occur and important information is not conveyed, treatments, medications, etc. may be missed. For example, in one situation, an oncoming nurse was not informed that a patient had fallen on the previous shift. The nurse, therefore, did not knocommunication in nursing practicew to assess the patient for injuries or other complications from the fall, or to initiate fall precautions. The patient fell once again and was injured. This possibly could have been prevented had the communication between the nurses been complete.

We know that the trust of our patients and their families is an important part of providing effective nursing care. If they don’t trust us, any communication that we attempt to send to them may be disregarded. We can take steps to ensure that we have their trust. They may seem simple and self-evident; however, in our busy practice they are not always followed.

The first step towards effective communication in nursing is honesty. Don’t tell a patient that you are going to do something unless you mean it, and if you can’t follow through, explain why. Promises, if made, must be kept. Other important factors are availability and responsiveness. Patients and families become impatient and sometimes angry when they feel that they are being ignored. Sometimes these feelings are not reasonable, but sometimes they are justifiable. If we encounter this type of complaint, we need to take a look at the communication process, timing, etc. between the nurse and the patient. If it appears inadequate, take corrective action.

It has been said that as much as eighty percent of our communication is non-verbal. We need to pay attention to our body language, eye contact, and tone of voice when addressing patients and families. This also is true when addressing nursing delegation with nursing supervisors, co-workers, and virtually everyone else. 

Conflict among co-workers can impact patients and sometimes can be prevented or corrected if we are aware of how our attitude may be interpreted. Also, cultural awareness can be an important part of the knowledge base that we need to have  when communicating as nurses. For example, we may want to pat the arm or hold the hand of a patient or family member, but we need to make sure that this behavior is acceptable and not seen as inappropriate.

Most importantly, we must appear to be empathetic with those in our care and communicate as nurses. We are the face of nursing and the face of the facilitcommunication in nursing practicey to our patients and their visitors. We will encounter many people in our professional lives. They may not remember our names, but they will remember how we treated them during a difficult time in their lives. 

 



10 COMMENTS

eva francis 4 months ago
It is very important that all Healthcare Professionals ( every discipline) who is participating in the care of the patient communicate.
Many fatal mistakes are being made because of lack of Communication.
We must also remember the a Regulatory bodies like Joint Communication is enforcing communication.
This is one of the Key National Safety Goal.
Let's promote communication. Every one who is participating in the care of the patient is equally important. From the Nurses Assistant to the Physician and that's something we all need to understand and embrace.

Anonymous 6 months ago
Effective Communication skill is important in the healthcare industry, to be able to cater and meet the specific needs of each client. Can you please provide the reference and date for this article? I want to use this for my assignment. Thank you.

Anonymous 2 years ago
its a important and brief topic for nurses to develop their communication sills.i really enjoyed this topic.thanks

Anonymous 2 years ago
Check your appropriate style guide--APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.--to find how to cite information from a website/webpage.

Anonymous 3 years ago


Volume? Part number? and Page numbers? Need to reference



Anonymous 3 years ago
What is the date of this publication?

Anonymous 3 years ago
Hey i really enjoyed this article but I could not ind a date in it to reference it in my assignment .. could you help?

Anonymous 3 years ago
I would also like to know the date of publication for this article please :D

Anonymous 3 years ago
Hey I really enjoyed reading this article and wanted to use it in my assignment but i could not find the date it was published to reference this :S is there anyway you could put this on there thanks x

Anonymous 3 years ago
This is a brief focused article on improving nurse patient interaction thats essential knowledge for both student and staff nurses. Thanks for the thoughfulness given this vital area of nursing. communication to me is the number one skill all health care professionals should learn and empathy is just as vital am glad these two skills are mentioned in this communication brief