Communication Skills in Nursing

October 21, 2017 Nursing

Foundations of Nursing Knowledge In this assignment there will be a definition of what communication is; a model of communication, the communication process, an introduction of what verbal and non verbal communication is, and what barriers there are and how they can be overcome and what skills are required.

Communication is said to be shared equally by sending, giving or the exchanging of a person’s ideas and must always have a sender and a receiver in order for the process to be completed (Fosbinder, 1994) Communication in nursing is specifically used to identify the nurse-patient relationship amongst other things; some of the ways include translating, getting to know you and establishing trust to ensure the patient receives the best treatment (Fosbinder, 1994). In 1948 Lasswell created a way communication could be processed for interaction, he decided to do this through a model as he thought this would be most effective (Fiske, 1990).

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Lasswells model looks at things from nursing hand-over to general conversation. It provides easy to read information and it allows people to make choices and decisions. Lasswells model is divided up into different sections:- Who – who is sending the message; What – what you are trying to send; To whom – what person you are sending it and by which means; Which channel – is it auditory or visual; With what effect – what effect it has on the client determines the response back. (Sharples, 2007). As explained in Lasswells model there are specific components needed in order to complete the communication process.

The communication process for example would be influenced either by internal or external thought, it would then be communicated through brain activity and then out of the mouth. The receiver would then process this through their brain activity and respond back appropriately. Sometimes there is a delay in response this could be due to many things for example someone could have a learning difficulty and need an interpreter or they could need more time to take in and retain the information before giving a response. People sometimes take communication for granted but it is not always as simple as it seems (Sharples, 2007).

Verbal communication is spoken words that have been transferred across to a person using language. Unless both people understand the same language the process of effective verbal communication fails. Nurses use several strategies in order to communicate appropriately some of these include open and closed questions, clarifying and summarising (Sharples 2007). Phatic conversation, otherwise known as small talk, is an example of verbal communication that is used every day. It can be used in such ways as commenting on the weather or someone’s hair and it is language used in free, aimless, social intercourse (Malinowski, 1992).

Phatic communication can help develop a bond between nurses and patients (Burnard, 2003). This type of talk promotes feelings of equality and belongingness (Crawford, Brown and Bonham, 2006). Approximately 60% of all communication is non verbal and as it is not reliant upon words or sounds it is used a lot more for people who maybe deaf or partially deaf as they are unable to communicate verbally (Sharpies 2007). Some non verbal communication is made up of bodily contact, accent, posture and physical appearance (Argyle, 1994). An example of non verbal communication is smiling and can be seen in many different ways by the public.

It quite often tells people you have positive feelings and thoughts about them (Argyle, 1994). Smiling strongly shows that the person is listening attentively and encourages further communication (Duggan and Parrot, 2001). As well as smiling and talking, there are several different skills that can help an individual communicate effectively, for example being able to work as part of a team, being able to cope with emotionally charged situations and having the ability to answer questions and offer advice, these all work together to develop the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship (www. hscareers. nhs. uk/nursing_skills. shtml). Barriers to communication are clearly important especially to nursing professionals but sometimes we struggle to overcome them. Maybe it’s because we don’t know how to approach the situation, or maybe at the time we are too busy to communicate effectively. Some of the barriers faced are medication, cultural barriers and difficulty in hearing (Sharples 2007). Internal noise can often trigger fear and anxiety for a person and can also affect a person’s ability to concentrate.

It can prevent the person from taking in and retaining information given to them by the source. If an individual for example was struggling with visual or auditory hallucinations that persons concentration span is going to be limited to what they can retain as they are already focused on what is going on first to begin with (Sharples 2007). Some ways in which we can overcome these particular barriers could be choose a quiet room in which the person is no longer surrounded with other back ground noises and any other people that maybe around at the time.

If possible deal with what the person is concentrating on first, for example talking to them and reassuring them, in some cases medication may help if it is for something like hallucinations or voices. Another example could be asking the person when it would be good for them to talk. By giving someone an option you are letting them be in control and make the decision in their own time which in the long term can benefit that person who is already struggling to retain all the information being given to them by voices, hallucinations or something similar (Sharples, 2007).

In this essay there had been a definition of what communication is, a model of communication, an explanation of what the communication process is, an introduction of what verbal and non verbal communication and what skills are needed in order to complete the communication process. Barriers to communication have also been discussed and the different ways in which to overcome them. Referencing Argyle. M (1994) The Psychology of interpersonal Behaviour Sharples, N (2007) Relationship, helping and communication skills. In Brooker.

C, Waugh. A (eds. ) (2007). Foundations in Nursing Practice, Fundamentals of Holistic Care. Pages 231-232. Duggan. A and Parrot. R (2001) Physicians non-verbal rapport building and patients talk about the subjective component of illness. Human Communication Research. Volume 27, pages 299-311. Malinowski. B (1922). An account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelago of Malanesian New Guinea. Argonauts of the western pacific. Routledge London. Taken from Crawford. P et al (2006) Core interpersonal skills.

Communication in clinical settings, foundations in nursing and health care Nelson Thornes ltd. Chapter 2 Page 39. Burnard. P (2003) Ordinary chat and therapeutic conversation: Phatic Communication and Mental Health Nursing. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. Volume 39 pages 12-20. Crawford. P et al (2006) Basic interpersonal verbal and non-verbal skills. Communication in clinical settings, foundations in nursing and health care. Nelson Thornes Ltd. Chapter 2 Page 39. Brooker.

C, Waugh. A and Sharples. N (2007) Relationship, helping and communication skills. Foundations in Nursing Practice, Fundamentals of Holistic Care. Pages 231-232. Fosbinder (1994) Communication Skills Revisiting The Fundermentals. Nursing Prescribing (2007). Volume 5 Article 9. Fiske (1990) Communication Theory. Introduction to communication Studies, London 2nd Edition, Routledge, chapter 2 pages 30-31. http://www. nhscareers. nhs. uk/nursing_skills. shtml Date accessed 30th December 2010 Time of use 18:36pm.


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