Communication and Assessment in Nursing: The basic aspects of therapeutic communication in nurse-patient relationship

Topics: Nursing, Nonverbal communication, Communication Pages: 7 (2027 words) Published: April 18, 2007
The structure of this essay is designed to show the importance of relationship centered communication. However it will begin with a brief definition of the essential concepts intrinsic to the topic of therapeutic communication, distinct therapeutic nurse-patient relationship. Thereafter, it will focus on verbal and nonverbal communication, listening, understanding, empathy and important aspects of confidentiality and privacy.

IntroJust as chemistry sciences were adopted as the 20th century medical model, patient's perspective into a relationship-centered communication has been suggested as appropriate for the 21st century. It is the medical dialogue that provides the fundamental vehicle through which the battle of perspectives is waged and the therapeutic relationship is defined (Roter D. 2000). In many regards, the primary challenge to the field is the development of therapeutic communication that will provide a valid representation of the therapeutic relationship (Craven & Hirnle 2000). The purpose of this essay is to explore the implications of therapeutic communications in the nature of the patient-nurse relationship and its expression in routine of medical practice.

Therapeutic communication is defined as the face-to-face process of interacting that focuses on advancing the physical and emotional well-being of a patient ( ).

Communication is an essential process when providing culturally competent nursing care and it must be therapeutic in nature to be effective.

It involves the use of techniques such as using silence, offering self, restating, reflecting, and seeking clarification to name a few. Therapeutic communication involves displaying a genuine interest in the person communicating that is demonstrated trough the use of a relaxed and comfortable body posture. Therapeutic communication requires the components of empathy, positive regard, and a positive sense of self (Craven & Hirnle 2000).

But no single definition could possibly capture the rich and complex nature of the relationships between patients and nurses. Each relationship is distinct, because both patient and nurse are distinctive and the way they interact and relate is unique (Parbury 2006).

The therapeutic nurse/client relationship stands at the core of health nursing. Through the establishment of this relationship, nurses are ideally suited as therapists to lead clients toward accomplishing their health goals (Parbury 2006). Therapeutic relationships between patients and nurses are formed in the majority of situations. In this type of relationships nurse's perspective is primarily that the patient is a patient, but there is also recognition and understanding of the patient as the person (Parbury 2006).

There are few similarities between the therapeutic relationship and friendship. It's important to both to have worth, friendliness, trust, care, honesty and respect. Some differences in values and attitudes can hinder both as well as poor communication strategies. A feeling of satisfaction is important to both and also transference (involves clients feelings and acting toward the therapist as they did to other individuals in the past, mother/father for example) can occur in both ( Craven & Hirnle 2000).

Let's look into differences between the therapeutic relationship and friendship.

Contract. A contract implicit on exploit is usually negotiated between client and workers and may include payment together they agree on. Limits are set whereas in friendship there is usually no monetary reward or contracts exchanged (Craven & Hirnle 2000).

Aims. In helping relationship there are specific goals. Friendship on the other hand, does not usually have agreed upon goals, it's usually spontaneous.

Focus. Helpee's needs are the focus of attention in the helping relationship- the helper temporally sets aside personal needs. In contrast, friendship usually means that mutual needs are met in sharing way...

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