Importance of Communication in the Nursing Profession
Whether talking with patients about their health issues or discussing treatment plans with other medical staff, nurses constantly use their communication skills to create a high level of patient satisfaction and outcomes.
Communication in nursing can be complex and there is no room for misunderstandings. That’s why nurses must understand the communication process and pay attention to their body language, eye contact and tone of voice. Remember, communication is a two-way street. It’s just as important to listen, as it is to talk.
According to the article “Why Communication in the Nursing Profession is Important?”, honesty, availability and responsiveness are important aspects in communication.
Honesty requires regularly evaluating integrity and continually looking for ways to improve. Being a trustworthy professional also requires follow-through. Nurses can keep their word by staying on track with their interactions, organizing their schedules and taking notes.
On the job, nurses have to communicate a large amount of information in a short period of time. Speaking, listening and writing effectively require a certain level of availability and responsiveness.
Responsiveness means responding clearly and directly to what the other people are saying. Being responsive shows people you are paying attention and care about what they are saying.
In her book, “Smart Nursing: How to Create a Positive Work Environment that Empowers and Retains Nurses,” June Fabre, MBA, RN, shares advice on how nurses can improve their communications skills.
She mentions the need to be respectful among the important aspects of nursing communication. Strong listening skills and body language play an important part in demonstrating respect, Fabre says.
Being respectful starts with being considerate of other people’s feelings. Ask yourself how you would want to be treated in a given situation, and make an effort to treat other people that way.
Effective and compassionate communication is critical to nursing practice and necessary to provide quality care. Undergraduate and graduate degree nursing programs offer students opportunities to improve their communications skills.