The Importance of Effective Communication: A Nurse’s Language Guide

Posted about 3 months ago

When it comes to caregiving nurses have a variety of responsibilities, one of the most important skills is good communication. Whether you are talking to a customer, or another health care professional, it is not just what you say but how you say it that is important.

We have put together some tips for you that will help you to build positive relationships with your clients, that will enhance your communication skills, enabling you to give the best care that you can provide.

Phrase Your Questions Tentatively

Clients are often asked by their nurse, questions such as “How are you feeling?” or “What may I do for you?” Using who, what, why, when and how questions are the simplest types of questions to understand and answer, especially when talking about their feelings and needs.

However, broader more open ended statements and questions should also be used, for example “is there anything you’d like to tell me?” This allows the client to determine the course of the conversation and allows them to express themselves and their needs.

It is very important to ask open questions but equally important is the need to be a good listener. By looking at the customer and not interrupting whilst listening, a feeling of respect and interest for the customer is conveyed. So take your time and listen to what is being said.

Avoid Using Overly Complicated Words

A mistake that is sometimes made in nursing is using longer and more complicated words. Whilst modern hospital dramas familiarise us with medical terminology, there are names, phrases and abbreviations used by health care professionals that may not be familiar to our clients. To aid communication medical terminology should be kept to a minimum in front of customers, as should ‘slang’ terms.

Understanding Your Communication Roadblocks

Everyone at some time has communication ‘roadblocks’. We have all come across situations that has us lost for words, making us feel frustrated as we struggle to communicate our thoughts effectively. Knowing your own ‘road blocks’ help you to prepare in advance how to cope with these issues. For example, if you know that seeing a client in pain will cause a ‘road block’, then it is necessary to find strategies on how communicate effectively at this time.

It is also necessary to understand the client’s ‘road blocks’. This can be achieved by talking to them and their family building a strong, professional rapport with them.

Communicating with one another is an important part of life, especially in the health care profession. We hope that these tips will help you to continue to provide high-quality care for your client.

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