Communication in Nursing

1699 Words Jan 22nd, 2009 7 Pages
The importance of communication is the essential foundation of nursing practise; it is primarily dependant upon verbal and non-verbal communication. Encompassing both speech and behavioural aspects, efficient delivery and receiving of the nurse-patient messages initiates advantageous relationships, or contrarily, generates significant repercussions if applied ineffectively, thus affecting the quality of the nurse-patient relationship. This essay will discuss how effective verbal and non-verbal communication in nursing practice will facilitate a mutually satisfying therapeutic nurse-patient relationship. It will firstly discuss verbal communication, followed on by the complementary non-verbal communication and lastly listening. However, for …show more content…
These styles of non-verbal communication can be grouped together to form body language. Chambers (2003) also adds "touch, physical appearance and passive listening". Through careful consideration of those non-verbal signs, nurses are able to gain a more profound insight into the emotional needs and experiences of patients, thus encouraging additional patient investigation (Stein-Parbury, 1999).

Clearly these signs of non-verbal communication together with appropriate use will endeavor to enhance the nurse-patient relationship. According to Caris-Verhallen, Kerkstra & Bensing (2002, p. 809) "to express warmth and empathy the nurse need to make eye contact with the patient". However, eye contact is a special exception in non-verbal communication (Vernallen, Kerkstra & Bensing, 2002). It can reveal some hidden and profound feelings that cannot be expressed in another manner that will serve as a role in emphatic connection (Benjamin, 2005). For instance, in western culture, looking people in the eye is assumed to indicate honesty and straight forwardness, in Latin and Asian cultures it represents aggression and/or disrespect (Le Roux, 2002). Certainly in these circumstances, the importance of limiting eye contact and touch in appropriate cultures and regarding them as culturally dissimilar ensures patient misinterpretation is avoided.

Additionally the use of touch can in some cultures be a sensitive issue for example in the Muslim culture,