Working as a nurse is a highly demanding profession that requires flexibility, in-depth medical knowledge, and correctly assigning tasks. Communication is a crucial skill, as it helps to make correct diagnoses and create support for the patient. With its help, nurses communicate their goals and objectives to other medical staff and help in difficult situations. Practical communication skills are fundamental to treatment outcomes, the quality of patient care, and communication with the caregiver.
Effective communication is primarily aimed at increasing the rate of recovery and patient satisfaction. Mindfulness and resistance to stress are at the heart of such communication (Sibiya, 2018). The constant crystal clearness of the mind is dictated by the need to make correct diagnoses in the workplace. Often, nurses have to work in conditions of increased complexity – be it many calls per unit of time or emergencies. In these situations, the nurse must not only correctly prioritize but also observe, down to the essential details, all operations for the initial care of patients – installing hardware monitoring of health indicators, providing the attending physicians with a medical history, calming and a maximally quick conversation with the patient.
Nurses are also carriers of deep medical knowledge. Given the current development pace, technology, and medicine, they are constantly learning and passing through many information streams. In such an environment, nurses often still have to learn communication skills. One study on this topic aimed to assess the relationship between students’ self-assessment of their abilities and their satisfaction with the nursing curriculum, compared with an objective assessment of communication skills. Nursing trainees rated the courses positively, which was reflected in both qualitative and quantitative terms. However, neither the self-reported ability nor satisfaction was significantly correlated with objective performance, but self-reported ability and satisfaction were strongly correlated (Gutiérrez-Puertas et al., 2020). It follows from this that the need for such a course stems from the need for nurses to gain self-confidence. Confidence is one of the most critical skills in productive communication (Çunkuş, Yiğitoğlu & Solak, 2021). Even if it does not provide deep specific knowledge of communication concepts, the course increases the self-esteem of abilities.
Effective communication affects not only the nurses themselves but also the patients. Another large study was conducted to assess the manifestation of patient behavior factors depending on nurses’ and obstetrics students’ level of communication skills. It was found that proficiency ineffective communication is directly correlated with the age of nurses and students. Patients rate more experienced caregivers much higher in terms of communication (Lord et al., 2021). Consequently, communication training should be carried out from the beginning of nurse education not to miss the opportunity to gain the necessary experience to satisfy patients.
The effectiveness of communication extended to patients also manifests itself in improving their decision-making skills. The advice given by the nurse develops not only the client’s medical education but also his intuition during treatment. Thus, the development of crucial communication skills is the task and goal of the nurse and the patients with whom they work. Better communication skills will allow patients to formulate the symptoms of their diseases better, and therefore for doctors to more accurately diagnose.
Therapeutic Nurse-Patient Relationship
Nurses must demonstrate effective communication in complex interpersonal areas, as numerous professional medical organizations emphasize. One of the communication training programs that students and nurses undergo includes three main topics that nurses need to discuss with their patients. These include empathy for patients, discussing death, dying, end-of-life care goals, and reactions to complex family relationships (Cannity et al., 2021). This education also helps nurses feel more confident as they know many sensitive issues and ways of discussing them. This approach is also an essential component of practical communication skills, as careless handling of sensitive topics in communication with patients can also lead to negative psychological and physical consequences.
Therefore, the relationship between the patient and the nurse should be built not only on understanding each other but on respect and trust. The patient, in turn, also develops the skills of support and sensitivity to the person, which helps to build a more reliable relationship between the nurse and the patient, which takes into account both the emotions and mood and other human skills of the two participants in the dialogue. However, under conditions of increased hospital workload, there is not always time to build such relationships. This issue is relevant. Therefore, research is looking for ways, both on the part of the nurse and the part of the patient, to accelerate understanding each other (Feo et al., 2017). Consideration is being given to including this item in general patient health education and preventive health promotion activities.
An essential element of communication skills is the balance between the nurse’s deep knowledge and direct dialogue. Since the patient must know how the treatment is prescribed to him, and the planned recovery plan, the nurse must communicate in simple language to the patient all the medical details of his treatment. Severe consideration is required to use drugs with various contraindications, severe side effects, or a comprehensive list of intolerances. This group of drugs includes, for example, antibiotics. Research by modern scientists has highlighted a direct link between treating a patient with antibiotics and the communication skills of a nurse or doctor who prescribes this type of prescription (Chater & Courtenay, 2019). This problem is often compounded by the problematic availability or limited availability of antibiotics. To mitigate such problems, additional nursing education in this area is once again proposed. In addition, communication skills can help prescriber nurses understand patient expectations through open-ended questions, active listening, and creating a patient-centered consultation that leads to a mutually agreed ultimate goal and moving forward.
Provision of Patient-Centered Care
In connection with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, it is vital to communicate effectively with patients from the intensive care unit. First, the pandemic outbreak has flooded hospitals and forced nurses to work on a more diligent basis. Secondly, intensive therapy for the new virus, for the first time in the memory of many people, has not yet been fully understood, which can cause mutual anxiety among both patients and nurses. Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) often have communication discomfort resulting from further psychological consequences. Personal care and care are directly dependent on the quality of communication between the nurse and the department’s patients. (Dithole et al., 2017). Thus, the introduction of communication training for intensive care nurses should be continuously encouraged and even introduced as a critical element of nursing education in intensive care units. Therefore, patients and their families and friends need support and advocation more than ever.
It should also be noted that effective communication, in general, includes various skills that are common in many professions. Teamwork, partnerships, delegation of labor, and time management are essential skills that require the same attention as more specific ones related only to the medical professions (Khademian, & Tehrani Neshat, 2017). Ethical and moral standards of behavior, cultural sensitivity, and respect are also at the core of the doctor’s patient-patient communication skills. Regardless of the position held, these points are almost always spelled out in the codes of medical institutions and are subject to checks by accrediting organizations (Khosravani et al., 2018). Therefore, a nurse’s communication skills require knowledge of the whole concept of effective communication, regardless of belonging to a particular profession.
The skills above should be manifested not only on the part of the nurse, as a duty, but also on the part of the patient. Emotional intelligence and an understanding of one’s effectiveness directly assist in the delivery of patient-centered healthcare services. Often, these are the skills that rehabilitation professionals have (Sommaruga, 2017). This ability is a preventive and curative, and educational task, improving the different lifestyles of patients. Understanding each other carries the consequences of a relationship of trust that is essential in the context of patient adherence (Cheraghi, Esmaeili & Salsali, 2017). Such recommendations affect the general background of the patient’s health and, following treatment, contribute to longer preserving a healthy state (McGrail, Ahuja & Leaver, 2017). Consequently, such interventions lead to a decrease in the burden in hospitals and an increase in the time to build such a relationship between a nurse and a patient. Moreover, an understanding between nurse and patient will ultimately enable the nurse to support and advocate for the patient.
Communication is a key and fundamental skill of a nurse, as they have to communicate with patients and other health care personnel within the profession. All nurses are required to treat patients uniquely, as they are people with specific diseases who require not only care, care and treatment, but often support, psychological assistance, and delicate treatment. At the same time, nurses must communicate with other doctors, where communication is already taking place at a higher pace, the level of professional vocabulary changes, and communication requires a quick response, action, and diligence. Clinical practice will become easier if patients also demonstrate effective communication skills, building understanding and respect with the medical staff.
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