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Forms of Communication (Nursing)

by Samantha Rhea

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    00:01 Hi, I wanna welcome you to our video series on therapeutic communication.

    00:05 So, first, we're gonna explore communication and then focus it on therapeutic communication for building effective relationships in the health care setting.

    00:15 So, first of all, let's talk about communication in nursing practice.

    00:18 This really just goes hand in hand, because in nursing, it's a critical skill for all nurses with clients, families, and their health care team members.

    00:27 So, why is communication so important, we do it every day, this is our day-to-day practice, but really, in the health care setting, it helps prevent errors, makes outcomes much better for our patient, and a much better patient experience.

    00:44 So, any of you ever been in the hospital or a loved one in the hospital? You know that communication is so important with your health care providers in your team, so if you have effective communication, you have much better therapeutic relationships.

    01:00 So, let's talk about different forms of communication and why these are important.

    01:04 First off, let's talk about verbal communication which is what I'm doing with you now.

    01:08 It could be spoken or a written word to convey a meaning.

    01:12 So, all things are going to influence this such as how fast that I talked to you? Maybe even the inflection of my voice, how loud, how soft, etcetera, something else to think about is even language.

    01:25 Next, let's think about nonverbal forms of communication.

    01:30 This one can be a little bit trickier because it involves all five senses in interpretation of its meaning.

    01:36 So, it may -- things to consider are appearance. Maybe how I'm standing.

    01:42 If I have my arms crossed, talking to you, and maybe frowning, so all of these gestures are going to influence nonverbal communication.

    01:51 Another unique form of communication is symbolic.

    01:55 This is where a verbal and nonverbal symbols and icons are used by others, so a great example of this is gonna be art and music.

    02:04 This is a great way to communicate in a different form that can be very therapeutic for the clients.

    02:10 Lastly, we have metacommunication.

    02:14 This one's interesting because it's gonna be a combination of all factors that influence communication.

    02:20 So, what is the metacommunication? Well, this is a little bit interesting so here's an example, Maybe you go to the doctor and you hate needles, and you're going to get a flu shot and as a nurse, I'm gonna come give you a flu shot and if you're squinching away from the needle, when you're about to inject me, and I say, "Are you okay? Are you nervous about the needle?" And the patient's like , "No, I'm fine, it's fine." Now if you see that, and obviously, the person's verbal and their body language are not matching, this is a metacommunication example.

    02:53 We just talked about different forms of communication.

    02:56 Now let's focus on therapeutic communication.

    02:59 This is a collection of techniques that prioritizes the physical, the mental, and the emotional well-being of patients.

    03:08 So, for nursing, how does this apply? We have to use these basic forms of communication to connect with our patient and make a therapeutic relationship.

    03:18 So, we provide patients with support and information, but we also have to maintain a level of professional distance and objectivity.

    03:28 Okay, now let's focus on specific forms of communication.

    03:32 So, we've already talked about verbal and how absolutely important that is such as the specific written word or spoken.

    03:40 This is definitely needed between nurse and our patient, nurse and our health care provider, and just the team in general, to make the patient experience better.

    03:48 So, let's look at some examples.

    03:50 So things to think about when we're giving verbal communication is, hey, first of all, don't interrupt people, right? Nothing is worse than your patient trying to let you know how they feel, the fact that they're communicating with us is great, but if you cut them off in midsentence, that's definitely gonna shut off that piece of communication.

    04:11 The other piece is looking at affirming statements.

    04:14 So, it's not that we have to stroke their ego necessarily, but just think about when they were saying yes, I can understand how that's gotta be difficult for you, so even those statements are letting the patient know that, hey, you're listening to them, you hear them, and you're on the same page with them.

    04:31 Another thought is to use open-ended questions, such as, "Hey, how are you feeling right now?" If you've ever done this with a loved one or even a friend, you notice sometimes that it opens up the floodgates of the information that you get from that patient, so open-ended questions are a great way to use verbal communication.

    04:50 And next is summarizing it. Believe it or not, it's not mocking the patient, you're letting the patient know you've heard them, such as, hey, what I've heard you said is that this hospitalization has been very difficult for you.

    05:03 These are some things that's been really difficult such as getting your lab draws or doing some of the tests were very scary.

    05:10 We understand that. So these are great ways of using verbal communication and connecting with your client to make that therapeutic relationship.

    05:19 So next, let's look at nonverbal communication.

    05:22 We talked about how it uses all five senses, so don't forget about how your posture is.

    05:27 Also, think about your gait, how you're looking at the patient, your facial expressions.

    05:33 Let's think about some nonverbal examples: making eye contact, maintaining personal space, and using therapeutic touch.

    05:41 I know some of these may seem kinda contradictory, but think about maintaining personal space.

    05:47 Let's say your patient is upset, they're letting you know how they feel.

    05:52 Maybe not getting in their personal space is always the best idea.

    05:56 The other thought is therapeutic touch especially with the use of silence.

    06:01 I think as nurses we really underestimate trying to talk to patients and trying to fix it for them, or maybe even saying the right things, but sometimes, just being present, being there for a patient, maybe even putting a hand on their wrist or on their shoulder, and just being present in the moment is all that patient needs.

    06:20 The last thing to think about is the posture.

    06:23 So, someone's talking to you and you're kinda slumped, oh, you don't seem very interested, your body language isn't really making connection with the patient, this can be read wrong.

    06:35 The other thought is especially in pediatrics, if we're looming over the child while we're taking care of them, this can definitely be looked as threatening for them.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Forms of Communication (Nursing) by Samantha Rhea is from the course Therapeutic Communication (Nursing).


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Nonverbal
    2. Verbal
    3. Symbolic
    4. Metacommunication
    1. Using a pain score chart with faces on it for a young child
    2. Asking the client to rate their pain on a scale from 0 to 10
    3. Assessing a client's movements and facial expressions to determine whether the client is in pain
    4. When the client says they don't have pain, but their body language shows that they do
    1. Do not interrupt the client.
    2. Summarize what the client said for clarity and understanding.
    3. Apologize to the client for any inconveniences or suffering.
    4. Ask yes-or-no questions.
    5. Do not enable the client by agreeing with what they say.

    Author of lecture Forms of Communication (Nursing)

     Samantha Rhea

    Samantha Rhea


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