Inter- and Intra-Professional Communication in Nursing

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 1195
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College


The nursing profession is based on the principle of serving clients and providing them with the assistance and support they require. Such a principle also entails the need to ensure an excellent level of inter-and intra-professional communication among the personnel in order to deliver the highest-quality services to clients. Research demonstrates that healthcare teams consisting of several professionals who provide services to the same patient must coordinate their actions to achieve better results (Slusser et al., 2018). Thus, it becomes particularly important to introduce and utilize certain strategies which can improve both inter- and intra-professional communication among specialists.

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Inter-Professional Communication

Due to the low client satisfaction rate, the center personnel should consider exploring an analysis of the commentary made by clients. Here is the first quote about the inter-professional communication of one of the patients:

The food was great. I did not like getting woken up at 11 pm for the nurses to talk to me, but I was told that is required. I agreed, but when the one nurse left, the other nurse said that ‘only some nurses do this, that one is very rude and makes everyone wake you up. You can refuse next time. I won’t care.’ I never refused, as I felt if it was a rule, then I did not want any nurses getting in trouble. They all work hard.”

The quote presented above highlights a typical example of an interprofessional communication problem among nurses. Such a problem can have considerable negative consequences both for the staff and the patient. First of all, the quote demonstrates the lack of respect between the two nurses since there is a significant dislike of one nurse towards the other one. The absence of respect can eventually lead to an open confrontation between these nurses and cause them to lose trust in each other and the possible end of any communication. Additionally, the lack of communication and agreement between the two nurses on the idea of waking up a sleeping patient causes the client to experience stress and confusion. Putting a patient in a stressful situation hinders their proper recovery process and can prevent them from healing fully. In order to resolve the current problem, it is vital for all nurses to practice better self-awareness (Clancy, 2018). Nurses must be advised to reflect on their actions and words to improve self-awareness and understand how their behavior affects other people, and thus gain more respect for colleagues.

Here is also another example of clients’ quotes:

Everyone was very nice to me, but they are not always so nice to each other. I felt bad for some of the nurses. Staff would roll their eyes at each other when they thought no one was watching.”

The above-mentioned quote demonstrates that nurses once again avoid building strong relationships among them and lack unity. One of the key outcomes of such a state of interprofessional communication is the lack of coordination of actions of the staff. People who do not like one another tend to avoid discussing the actions they engage in when providing care to patients. As a result, each nurse may have their own approach to each client, which once again undermines their recovery process. Thus, it is clear that the nursing team must undergo special team-building procedures to stimulate communication and improve the relationship among the professionals. In this case, the role of sound leadership becomes crucial, and it is the obligation of the nursing leader to achieve better communication. For instance, the leader must establish a shared vision of the ideal environment in the nursing team, which involves trust, respect, and openness to feedback (Slusser et al., 2018). Next, the leader should foster cooperation among team members enabling nurses to work closely together. Subsequently, a better relationship among the staff members will have a positive effect on the therapeutic environment.

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Intra-Professional Communication

At the same time, the organization also experiences problems with intra-professional communication. For instance, here is a quote from one of the patients:

I was coming back from my dinner, and there was an x-ray tech at the desk. He asked for help finding me since I was not in my room. The nurse at the desk said, ‘You’re not the only person asking me for help, you know. It’s not like I’m sitting around doing nothing. Just wait, I am sure she is at dinner.’ I grabbed the gentleman and said, ‘here I am.’ We got my x ray, and I apologized for the nurses’ rude comments. He said, ‘don’t worry, happens all the time.’ How awful.”

The quote simultaneously highlights several problems which must be resolved immediately to avoid grave consequences. First of all, the behavior of the nurse described by the patient is absolutely inappropriate and can lead to the client avoiding using the center’s services in the future. Speaking of the intra-professional communication problems, the quote shows that the nurse was also rude to the radiographer and did not give him the required information. Such conduct on the part of the nurse can cause other staff members to fail to find their patients on time which can put their health at risk. At the same time, since the radiographer said that it was not the first time that the nurse acted rudely, his behavior also can be considered unsatisfactory for not reporting the nurse earlier. The solution to the problem, in this case, is the establishment of strict repercussions for rude behavior in the workplace, including the possibility of employment termination.

Finally, another example of an intra-professional communication problem is the following situation:

My therapy was great. Everyone works very hard to help me get better and go home on schedule. However, the physical therapist was never happy with my nurses, saying that they needed to medicate me so that I could do more. He did not know that I refused the medicine because it makes me feel funny. I just asked for ice.”

The quote presents an example of the absence of information exchange between the doctor and the nurse due to unknown reasons. It is possible that the nurse simply forgot to tell the doctor about the preference of the patient to avoid being medicated. As a result of the nurse’s actions, the patient could be medicated unknowingly, which could potentially negatively affect their health. Thus, the strategy to resolve the problem would be to make it obligatory for every nurse to take notes of every patient and provide the recorded information to the therapist (Yoder-Wise, 2018). The notes can be both written in a special form or added to an electronic document which can be accessed by the authorized staff only.


Inter- and intra-professional communication play a major role in nursing since they help healthcare providers to deliver better services to clients. Therefore, in order to ensure better inter-professional communication, professionals must increase their self-awareness through reflection on their behavior and having a shared vision outlined by the leadership, which promotes mutual trust and respect. In terms of intra-professional communication, staff members should avoid engaging in any type of rude behavior both towards patients and colleagues and must exchange information effectively using notes.

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Clancy, C. (2018). Critical conversations in healthcare: Scripts & techniques for effective interprofessional & patient communication (2nd ed.). Sigma.

Slusser, M., Garcia, L., Reed, C., & McGinnis, P. (2018). Foundations of interprofessional collaborative practice in health care. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Yoder-Wise, P. (2018). Leading and managing in nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences.