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Communication Techniques in Nursing

Medha Godbole
Being able to communicate, verbally or non-verbally, is vital for nurses as they need to receive and exchange information from their team members and/or patients. Read on to know about information on which techniques to use for a successful conversation.
In healthcare, a nurse has to learn, understand, and implement verbal and non-verbal types of communication techniques. This inwardly helps them perceive how their actions, words, and behavior will affect patients and other team members. Not everyone is born with a good communication skill. However, these skills can be developed over time.

Types of Communication

Verbal Communication

Only through positive verbal conversations, you can reach out to a large number of people. Open and honest expression of your thoughts and feelings allows the other person to give you the same.

Non-verbal Communication

Your physical appearance, the way you dress, body language, facial expressions, and the tone you use to communicate with others, all fall under non-verbal communication. These can work on both positive and negative aspects of a conversation.

Communication Techniques

Therapeutic Communication

► Instead of just hearing the other person, you need to participate through active listening. This works for both verbal and non-verbal communications.
► You need to make and share your observations about how the other person looks, sounds, behaves, etc. Also, as a good way to understand and accept the other individual's issues, it is essential to share empathy, humor, and your feelings, along with giving them hope.
► When you're looking for a particular type of information, perhaps a patient's medical history or reason(s) behind an illness, you need to ask relevant questions; preferably, open-ended questions.

► On the same hand, providing vital information is also important so that you and your team members can make effective decisions.
► You need to focus on anything and everything the other person is telling you. Also, if you can't understand any information being provided to you, make sure to clarify all doubts and concerns.

Non-therapeutic Communication

► When you engage in a conversation where asking personal questions that are not related to the patient's illness or a particular situation, then you are creating a block in the flow of communication.
► In the same way, voluntarily or involuntarily providing personal opinions about the illness, diagnosis, treatment options, etc., should be avoided. This can have adverse effects on how a patient makes decisions regarding his/her health.
► At the time when someone wishes to communicate with you, changing the topic gives the impression that you may be rude, impatient, or don't have any empathy towards them.

► Making generalized opinions or statements about anything or anyone shows your lack of judgment.
► Being defensive, giving passive-aggressive responses, and arguing on matters or with someone shows criticism on your part.

► If you argue with or challenge someone on any decision or statement, or asking for an explanation are signs of insecurity, mistrust toward other team members, and disregard for the other person's opinions and intellect.
The information provided here was just a glimpse of the fundamentals in it. There are many more requirements for nursing like being patient, being clear, listening to the patient, and so on.