Communication Essay

Topics: Communication, Nonverbal communication, Writing Pages: 10 (3415 words) Published: February 9, 2012
The Nurse’s Role in Relation to Communicating Effectively in Clinical Placement

Module Title – Fundamental Principles and Practice of Nursing

In this essay I will be examining different forms and frameworks of communication and also potential barriers. To help me understand these I will be using an example of communication I participated in during clinical practice to highlight how effective communication is vital to building up a nurse/patient relationship and how the forms, frameworks and any barriers applied to this conversation. At the end of the essay I will draw conclusions that became apparent during and on reflection of the conversation. (In order to adhere to the NMC (2008) Code of Professional Conduct, I will be referring to the patient as Agnes this will keep the person’s identity confidential.) Clinical Practice Example

Agnes is an elderly lady who has end stage dementia. A colleague and myself were assisting Agnes to bed as she had asked to go, however as we got to her bed she began to say that she didn’t want to go to bed as she needed to get home to meet her son and became a little agitated at the fact that we were assisting her to remove her clothes. As Agnes was seated in a wheelchair I dropped to one knee and directed her attention to myself, I maintained good eye contact with her and held her hand as I explained calmly and slowly to her that her son knows where she is and that he would be coming to see her very soon and she should get some rest. I had to reassure her a few times that he would be coming soon and after a few minutes she had calmed and decided that she did now want to go to bed.

Blackwell’s dictionary of nursing (1994) (p158) defines communication as the process of exchanging thoughts or information in a reciprocal relationship; may be carried on verbally or nonverbally as, e.g. by writing, gestures, facial expressions or body behaviour. “Communication is the basic element of human interactions that allows people to maintain, and improve contacts with others.” Potter and Perry (2005) (p233). Web L (2011) states “communication and interpersonal skills are essential components in delivering good quality nursing care.” (Pg 1). Anderson (1990) (p4) describes communication as being “the essence of all our relationships with other people. Through communication people experience happiness and joy; they share ideas, experiences and knowledge; and they learn what is acceptable or not acceptable in relationships with others.” Effective communication is the foundation to building a professional nurse/patient relationship, building a bond of trust through understanding and empathy helps the patient feel more at ease and in turn reveal more information which could be vital information. Also Effective communication is vital between colleagues to ensure that important need to know information is exchanged and is understood perfectly to avoid misunderstandings or mistakes. Through this essay I will demonstrate how imperative effective communication is.

Levels of Communication
Intrapersonal Communication
This type of communication is with ourselves and occurs within our minds, self awareness is important here as it helps us to understand and process what we have heard or what is happening around us and what to do next. Potter and Perry (2005) describe that one’s self-concept and one’s self-worth can help to communicate effectively, it can help read into a situation and react responsively such as seeing an uncomfortable patient and reading these signs and processing the fact that the patient looks uncomfortable and react by helping the patient to become more comfortable. My self-awareness alerted me to the fact that Agnes was becoming distressed and I was able to realise that she needed to be re-assured that her son would be coming to see her soon.

Interpersonal communication
This can happen either between two people or in a small group. It can...

References: Anderson C (1990) Patient Teaching and Communicating in Information Age. Albany N.Y: Delmar Publishers Inc.
Arnold E, Boggs K (2011) Interpersonal Relationships: Professional Communication Skills for Nurses (6th Ed). St. Louis Missouri: Elsevier/Saunders.
Blackwell’s Dictionary of Nursing (1994). Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.
Glasper E, Mcewing G, Richardson J (2009) Foundation Studies for Caring: Using Student Centred Learning. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hobson P (2008) Understanding Dementia: Developing Person-Centred Communication Available at (Accessed 29/11/2011
NMC (2008) Code of Conduct
S.B.A.R – Available at (Accessed 28/11/2011)
Webb L (2011) Nursing: Communication Skills in Practice Oxford: OUP
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