Improving Nursing Communication Skills

Home » Blog » Career » Communication Skills » Improving Nursing Communication Skills

Improving Nursing Communication Skills

Good communication in healthcare for nurses is approaching each patient engagement with the goal of understanding the patient’s concerns, experiences, and opinions. This includes active listening and patient teach-back tactics, as well as verbal and nonverbal communication abilities. Communication skills for nurses are critical in the healthcare field. Nurses are responsible for keeping the lines of communication between patients and healthcare providers open. They must tell family members of the patient’s condition and explain procedures and medications to patients. Furthermore, family nurse practitioners are in charge of teaching patients and their families about any health issues they may be having. As a result, they should give each patient more time and strive to comprehend their issues. They should make an attempt to grasp the patient’s lifestyle and history in order to improve their skills.

What Is the Concern of Communication in Healthcare Industry?

Effective communication is important in any situation, but it is especially important in the healthcare industry. It will aid in the protection of patients from harm and increase the efficiency of the care team. Staff will also benefit, and nurses will be more effective in their professions. It’s critical for a nurse to communicate effectively with patients. Listening to the patient is the greatest way to achieve this. It’s critical to pay attention to the patient’s wants and preferences during this procedure.

In Which All Ways Does a Nurse Have to Communicate?

In the field of nursing, good communication skills are crucial. Nurses must explain how diseases affect patients, as well as the medication provided and self-care strategies. To gain the patient’s understanding, they should apply teach-back techniques. They should also use short, basic words and stick to one topic at a time. Finally, when speaking with patients, they should utilize proper terminology. If they are in a position of leadership, they may be asked to give a presentation to the staff on a variety of themes.

What Does Communication Skills Have to Do With Patient-Nurse Interaction?

It is critical to improving communication skills in order to have a successful patient-nurse interaction. Patients will be better able to understand the difficulties at hand if you pay attention to their body language and are honest with them. Nurses must also pay attention to their patients’ thoughts and feelings. They should ask open-ended inquiries and pay attention to the patient’s attitude during these exchanges. Then they should communicate in non-medical terms and make sure that the patient understands what they’re saying. They should also employ written material that is grammatically correct and concise. This will make it easier for the nurses to understand what the patient is saying.

What Are the Advantages of Nurses knowing to Communicate Better?

Nurses who wish to be better nurses must work on improving their communication skills. It will not only increase the quality of care provided to patients but will also strengthen the nurse-patient connection. This takes a lot of work, and it takes time for nurses to improve their communication skills. And, while it may not happen quickly, it is possible to train them to enhance their communication skills, which will benefit both the patient and the nurse.

Why Should Nurses Take Interest in Improving their Communication Skills?

A nurse’s communication skills will assist them to accomplish their tasks better, in addition to being more attentive to the needs of the patient. The capacity of a nurse to engage with others is critical in providing quality care. Patient satisfaction and care quality will both benefit from open and honest communication between two persons. However, improving this skill will take more than just practice. As a result, nurses should devote time to honing their communication abilities. They’ll be more effective in the future once they’ve mastered these strategies.

Is Communicating With Patients Crucial for a Nurse?

It is critical to learn how to communicate with patients in order to improve the quality of care provided to them. It’s about more than just better patient care. It will also improve your nursing skills. Effective communication is critical in all aspects of the healthcare system, but it is especially critical when interacting with patients. It is, in fact, the cornerstone of successful nursing. The quality of care delivered to both parties will be improved if the nurse-patient interaction is efficient. As a result, improving communication skills will improve the overall quality of care and patient satisfaction.

What Are the Most Important Communication Skills in Nursing?

You should have the following communication abilities to be a strong communicator and to thrive in your nursing career:

  • Clarity:

The words “clarity” and “concision” come to mind. When delivering comments or responding to a patient’s inquiries, you should be able to frame your responses in a detailed, yet clear and succinct manner.

  • Be Open-Minded:

The capacity to be open-minded and appreciative of the patient’s decisions, as well as offer feedback without judgment, bias, or preconceptions, is a vital communication skill for nurses.

  • Listening Intently:

As a nurse, your job entails not just giving but also receiving feedback. As a result, it’s critical to be able to actively listen to the patient’s concerns, as they could be crucial to the treatment plan.

  • Nonverbal Communication:

It is a type of communication that occurs without the use of words. For effective communication, your body language, gestures, eye contact, and other nonverbal indicators are critical. Being able to manage your body when engaged at work is critical.

  • Cultural Awareness Is Important:

As a nurse, you frequently interact with patients from many cultures. As a result, it’s critical to teach yourself how to be sensitive to these differences and how to communicate across language barriers.

How Can Your Nursing Communication Skills Be Improved?

Whether you have prior nursing experience or are just starting out, you must always focus on improving your communication abilities. Here are a few pointers on how to do so efficiently and effectively become a better professional.

  • Active Listening:

Being a good communicator also means being a good listener. The capacity to actively listen can provide significant information about the patient’s health or concerns about their treatment. In professional communication contexts, there are a few techniques to practice active listening:

  • Pay Care to the Following:

Shield yourself from other distractions by looking squarely at the speaker. However, consider your patient’s cultural background before gazing at them in the eyes, as this may be deemed unacceptable in some cultures.

  • To Demonstrate that You’re Paying Attention, Make the Following Nonverbal Signs:

Show that you’re interested in what’s being said by smiling and nodding. You can also use short verbal signs to show that you are following what the speaker is saying.

  • Give Feedback:

To ensure that you understand what the speaker is saying, rephrase it, ask questions to clarify their arguments, and recap the dialogue after each point they make.

  • Increase Your Situational Awareness:

Situational awareness refers to your ability to recognize specific aspects and events in your environment in relation to time, setting, and the context of the scenario.

You can add the following exercises into your everyday routine to practice situational awareness:

  • The OODA Loop:

 It is a loop that repeats itself over and over again. To practice situational awareness, this exercise advises using the observation-orientation-decision-action cycle. This practice can teach you how to make better decisions in a crisis and act more consistently.

  • Exercise in Peripheral Vision:

Being aware of your surroundings is an important aspect of being a good communicator. Peripheral vision training might help you enhance situational awareness and attention to detail.

  • “Can You Tell me What that Sound Is?” Exercise:

Take a time to notice and name the sounds that surround you when you have the opportunity. This activity can help you develop critical thinking skills and become more aware of your environment. You can do the same activity to improve your ability to focus and pay attention by identifying objects around you.

  • Regularly Practice Written Communication Skills:

Nurses’ interactions at work aren’t limited to verbal communication. Nurses must frequently communicate in writing, especially given that many patients are opting for remote doctor’s appointments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given how hectic your working day might be, you don’t need to devote much time to improving your written communication abilities. However, make sure to engage in the following activities on a regular basis:

  • Alternate Oral and Written Communication:

Practice your writing abilities by sending emails and notes to your colleagues and patients as often as possible.

  • When Possible, Take Writing Classes:

Along with writing, take writing guidelines on platforms such as Udemy, Skillshare, and others, where experts also share their advice on how to improve professional writing skills.

  • Read Everything You Can:

Reading both broad and specialist literature expands your vocabulary and improves your writing abilities.

  • Volunteering Programs Participate in Volunteering Programs:

Volunteering programs can help you improve your communication skills if you’re just starting out in your profession. Often, you will be assigned a mentor who can teach you both oral and writing communication skills in these programs. It’s also a terrific way to expand your network and make connections that can help you land a job.

Three Fundamentals of Nurse-Patient Communication:

One of the pillars of successful nursing care is effective communication. Verbal and nonverbal communication, such as body language, facial expression, gestures, and space between you and your patients, are all honest kinds of nurse-patient communication. Nurse-patient communication that is effective can increase treatment quality, clinical outcomes, and a nurse-patient relationship that is patient-satisfying. Effective nurse-patient communication, on the other hand, is the most difficult issue for nurses, and it takes far more than experience and abilities.

Here are three guidelines to follow in order to improve your patient communication skills;

  • Always Prioritize the Patients’ Needs:

Putting patients first requires a mental shift. Take the time to introduce yourself to the patients and tell them how you plan to care for them. Smile and speak in a calm, friendly tone. When they’re in need of consolation, give it to them. Always treat your patients with respect. Understanding who the patients are as people will allow the nurse to connect with them and make them feel more at ease while receiving care and treatment. These methods can help patients feel truly cared for while also improving connections.

  • Active Listening Should Be Practiced:

Active listening is a vital element of communication since it demands you to pay attention to the speaker’s content, intent, and feelings. Active listening entails paying attention to what patients have to say and enabling them to finish their sentences without being judged or interrupted. Active listening also includes paraphrasing or reflecting back to them what they’ve just said and maintaining eye contact. Finally, look for nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, gestures, and eye contact. These abilities can help patients feel more satisfied and build trust over time.

  • Speak From the Heart:

It takes a long time to communicate with patients. Effective communication between nurses and patients requires honesty and frankness. Nurses must have a true desire to comprehend their patients’ concerns and to show them warmth and courtesy in order to create effective nurse-patient communication. Recognize the patients’ feelings and acknowledge their opinions. Always ask open-ended questions to patients, speak slowly, and use non-medical terminology. If the patient is having trouble understanding the information, you should clarify or adjust it until the patient understands it. To demonstrate what you’re saying, you could use textual materials like handouts, notes, or images.

Conclusion

While speaking with patients is a crucial component of nursing, knowing how to enhance nursing communication skills is also critical. Using the same language and tone while communicating with patients, is the most successful method. A nurse’s tone of speech should be comparable to that of the patient. Nurses should also be able to interact successfully with their coworkers. It’s critical to be in touch with the correct people at all times.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

Leave a Comment