Health care professionals need to be effective communicators and good at interacting with others for efficient service delivery at any healthcare facility. Communication skills such as listening, hearing, talking and body language should be professionally applied. Reading and writing are also important in communication
Improved listening and speaking skills will help in effective communication and interpersonal relationship in nursing. Listening effectively involves taking a personal responsibility for understanding of what one hears through concentration and focusing on the person who is speaking. This ensures that the message is received in the intended form for us to be able to decode and understand it. It’s also important when a listener is open minded and compassionate showing genuine interest in what is being communicated. One should avoid interrupting, disagreeing or even offering explanation when listening to another person speaking. Our body language should also clearly indicate to the person speaking to us that we are attentive. If necessary, note taking can accompany listening so as to have a point of reference later. Good listening will help one to save time, reduce errors, and help solve problems quicker. It may be necessary to tailor the communication to cultural context for it to be effective.
The important aspect of communication one should improve on in order to communicate properly is effective direct speaking. Before one speaks, it’s important to organize thoughts and eliminate unnecessary content. While speaking, it’s always important to keep eye contact and speak directly to the person concerned. One’s speech should communicate friendliness or empathy depending on the recipient. It’s important to express your own feelings if warranted by the listener but also keep alert for immediate feedback that your speech may elicit direct speaking reduces errors and misunderstanding and enhances interpersonal relationships. It’s important to note that both speaking and listening usually alternate with each other during a conversation to enhance good communication and interrelationships.
Improved writing and reading skills will also enhance good communication and good interpersonal relationships. Effective writing is also important as it facilitates carrying out of instructions and duties in a health care facility and can be referred to as a reference or to clarify what is communicated. Writing may involve filling of forms, writing official letters, completing questionnaires, wring prescriptions or just writing daily reports. The purpose of writing should be the focus of good written communication. When written communication is being used its important to know the target audience and be able to determine their literacy level depending on the subject under consideration. In a health facility, nurses usually come across memos, reports, prescriptions, letters and charts and it’s therefore important to be able to read these correctly and inform others accordingly.
Good communication will help with poor interactions with patients and colleagues at a health facility. Since patients are usually anxious, good communication through proper listening and speaking or reading will help make the patients feel at ease and in control. The patients and our colleagues will feel valued.
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Gausvik, C., Lautar, A., Miller, L., Pallerla, H. and Schlaudecker, J., 2015. Structured nursing communication on interdisciplinary acute care teams improves perceptions of safety, efficiency, understanding of care plan and teamwork as well as job satisfaction. Journal of multidisciplinary healthcare, 8, p.33.
Karkouta,L &Papathanasio,I,V 2014 Communication in Nursing Practice, Materia Socio-Medica,26:1, pp.65-67, reviewed on April 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3990376/