Effective communication: Nurse communication

Effective communication in nursing plays a vital role in the quality of service offered. Nurses provide patients with deep interpersonal, intellectual, technical abilities and skills at the point of care. Therefore, they must possess more than just clinical knowledge, they need interpersonal communication skills. Nurse care is delivered  through communication. That is, through specific skills of verbal communication and non-verbal communication.

Benefits of effective communication in nursing

The benefits of nurses being able to communicate effectively are highly important. The benefits of effective communication in nursing include the following:

 Immediate understanding of a patient’s condition and needs

From the initial point of care and throughout treatment it is important to understand a patient’s condition. In nearly every case, nurses are the first and best line of communication regarding patient health to other team members. Their ability and effectiveness of communication is critical to providing great care.

Understanding the emotional state of patients

Because nurses spend more time with patients than most other caregivers, the amount of personal communication they have with patients is important for the understanding of a person’s physical and emotional well-being. The communication nurses have with patients means they may be able to provide a deeper level of care individually. This information can be significant in a patient’s long-term health. This level of communication also can help them make decisions on appropriate treatment plans and when implementing care protocols with other  health care givers. Social determinants of health are the social, physical and environmental conditions in a person’s life that affect overall health status. . Communicating effectively with patients to understand what some of their social determinants may be can greatly increase patient health and wellness.

Tracking changes in care

Understanding patient needs and concerns allows nurses to target their communication and clinical strategies toward specific patient preferences. Doing so also means they can track patient progress regularly, measuring deviations in near real-time. Outcomes-based on regular communication can then be forwarded to other caregivers on the team. When a nurse is a good listener and frequently checks in on her patients, she is able to reduce physical and emotional distress.

 Identifying specialized needs

A patient may have needs outside their medical care, For example, specialized diets or particular religious beliefs. Nurses can ensure this information is provided to the right people so that quality of care isn’t compromised.

 Advocating for patients

Patient advocacy includes a therapeutic relationship and communication between nurse and patient. As an advocate, a nurse acts as an informer to the patient’s decision-making and offering emotional support to the patient . Nurse advocates bridge communication gaps between the patient, other professions and the healthcare system.. Nurses provide reassurance and assistance for patients. They can help to explain a diagnosis or give recommendations on how to follow a treatment plan . They also follow-up with the physician for things like lab results or critical information. 

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