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Why Good Communication is Important in Nursing

Alicia Robinson


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    As a nurse, you need to have the ability to communicate well with others. This is an important skill to have because you will be constantly communicating with patients, their families, coworkers and supervisors. At times, communication can become a complicated process. The problem is that there could be a lot at stake when there is a communication breakdown.

    What It Takes to Communicate

    There are three main components involved in the communication process:

    1. The sender
    2. The receiver
    3. The message

    Often, you may need to relay a lot of information to others in a short amount of time. You need to also consider the factors that may have an effect on how the message is understood. This means being aware of the setting in which the message transfer occurs, considering the timing of the message and understanding the personal perception of both the receiver and sender.

    When incorrect messages are sent or received, negative outcomes can occur that could put your patient’s well-being at risk. For example, consider the communications that occur during shift change. The incoming shift needs to be aware of any changes in the condition of the patients that are being cared for. Failure to effectively convey this information could result in medication or treatments being missed.

    What Makes a Good Communicator

    You are the link between your patients and their doctors. You need to:

    • Have excellent interpersonal skills
    • Be able to work well in a variety of situations with different people
    • Seamlessly balance the needs of your patients and doctors

    Being a good communicator is not just being able to speak well. Communication involves non-verbal actions, including eye contact, body language and tone of voice. These are actions that you need to be aware of as you communicate with patients, their families, co-workers and your supervisors.

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