This booklet is to provide student nurses the importance on effective communication within a hospital setting
This booklet is to provide student nurses the importance on effective communication within a hospital setting. As a qualified nurse I have learnt the importance of communication and would like to share it for others to use so that it can help benefit others. there are two types of communication which are known as verbal and none verbal. Verbal communication is the sharing of information between people by the use of speech. For example, when working in a busy work place such as the hospital, verbal communication is needed to be used effectively so that people can understand the importance in what you are saying and what you are actually talking to them about. As a nurse I know that having good verbal communication will come in handy a lot and will help you with the situations that you might be put in or with the patient you are dealing with. However, it is also a key skill to understand different types of non-verbal communication because it often gives people a better idea of how someone is feeling than what they say.
The second type of communication is none verbal which can consist of things such as
• Silence – Can allow a person a little bit of time for them to collect and understand their thoughts and feelings. Silence can show that you are listening but it can also show that someone might possibly be upset, embarrassed or even nervous. For example, someone might have just heard some bad news and they are silent because they could be in shock.
• Gestures – can show a person’s emotions really well. For example, if their arms are crossed it might show they are cold, frightened or wanting to keep to their selves. If a person was angry they would have strong and powerful arm movements.
• Facial expressions – facial expressions can show someone’s emotions quite well also. An example could be red cheeks. This may indicate that they are blushing due to happiness, they could be cold or hot and finally it could show that the person might be shy.
• Touch – touching can come across as a type of reassurance however, it can also be easily mistaken as something sexual.
• Eye contact – strong eye contact can sometimes come across as serious or threatening but weak eye contact comes across as uninterested and rude.
• Posture- if someone was sitting upright and stiff then it could show that this person could be feeling tense or not in the best mood. If someone was sat more relaxed and with a more open posture, then people will know that they are relaxed and more approachable
Types of interaction:
there are two types of interaction which are known as formal and informal
An example of how formal interaction might be used within the hospital setting might be when a doctor is telling the patient what medications they need to be taking. Formal interaction in a hospital setting will usually start with a type of greeting such as ‘Good afternoon” or “How are you feeling today?” this is so that the person you are talking to can feel comfortable with you and it shows that you care and are interested in what they have to say. Formal conversation is often used by professional people because It is usually more likely to be clear and avoids misunderstanding.
The second form of interaction is informal. This type of interaction may take place when a nurse is checking up on a patient and asking how they are feeling or talking about things such as the weather just to keep the patient company for a bit. This interaction is faster since you can talk freely. Informal interaction is more likely to start with something along the lines of ‘Hi. How are you?’. This allows for a more casual approach. Informal interaction is warm and friendly. People usually interact more informally with friends; family or even people they just work closely with.
Contexts in which communication and/or interaction may occur in a hospital:
communication and interaction may occur in a hospital when a nurse is checking up on a patient. For this the nurse will need to use her verbal communication skills so that she can explain to the patient what she is going to do. Non-verbal communication may occur in a hospital setting when the patient is maybe dealing with some bad news. For example, some patients might just stay silent and others might just have a facial expression that shows people that they are upset. As a nurse you should be able to understand what the patient might be feeling at certain times.
Verbal communication might happen in a hospital setting when a patient is just popping in for a quick check-up and they are both having a little bit of small talk
An example of when interaction may occur in a hospital is when a doctor is talking to his patients. For this he will use formal interaction because it is a serious matter such as what is wrong with them and what the next steps will be.
A doctor might ask a nurse to go and help a certain patient and for this he would use informal interaction because it’s something that he can say quickly. It doesn’t need to be explained a lot therefor informal interaction is ideal for a situation like this.
Methods of communication patients and colleagues may prefer to use:
There are lots of different types of communication that both patients and colleagues may prefer to use, depending on personal preference, they might want to use things such as emailing, calling, texts, writing letters or even face timing. Some patients might prefer using emails instead of meeting in person or having to call up because they could be a shy or nervous person. But by writing an email they don’t need to talk to anyone. A doctor might prefer meeting the person or calling them so that the doctor can get his message across quickly and efficiently without no problems/confusion.
Other methods of communication that a patient or colleague might prefer to use could be brail, sign language, Makaton, hearing aids or flash cards to help those who have disabilities. A person who is deaf would prefer to use sign language over any other communication because it could be what they are the most comfortable with and what they understand the most. Children with learning disabilities might want to use flash cards to help them communicate with people because it’s easier for them and once again it is what they might understand the most. The methods of communication vary with each person because people prefer different things.
Why effective communication is essential:
Effective communication is essential because it’s a vital role in human life. Communication is the sharing of knowledge and information but it is also what allows people to build and grow relationships with other people.
It is important to have effective communication skills as a nurse or working in a caring environment because it can help patients feel more comfortable and at ease, it can help the patient feel in control and finally it can help the patient to feel valued and important. It is also important because you will be constantly speaking to patients, colleagues, friends and families.
Sometimes patients might feel a bit worried or scared about going to the doctors or having to be seen by a nurse, so by the nurse having effective communication skills it might allow the patient to calm down and to worry less. This will make the whole situation a lot easier for both the patient and the nurse.
If a patient has been staying in the hospital for a while they might begin to feel As if they have lost control of their own lives because the simple everyday tasks that they do are no longer a task for them, since it gets done for them so the patients are able to fully rest and recover. Some people may like having no responsibilities to do but others might feel as if they have no say in what goes on. So by the nurse having good communication skills with the patient it can reassure the patient that they do indeed have a say and that it does matter what they think.
Finally, good communication skills are an essential skill for a nurse to have because it helps the patient feel valued. Sometimes the patient can feel as if they aren’t that important so good communication skills from the nurse can help them feel as if they are wanted and that you actually do care.
Websites used for information on why effective communication is essential: https://rcni.com/hosted-content/rcn/first-steps/why-communication-important
argyle communication cycle:
argyle created and came up with a theory which is called the communication cycle. In this cycle there are 6 main stages.
stage 1 is where the ideas occur
stage 2 is where the message is coded
stage 3 is where the message has been sent
stage 4 is where the message gets received
stage 5 is where the messages are decoded
stage 6 is where the message understood.
Argyles theory only works in a one to one convocation so if you were with a group of people this theory wouldn’t work and you would find it to be incorrect. The first stage of the cycle is where the someone comes up with an idea of what they want to say to someone. the next stage is the message being coded. This is how you are going to tell this person the idea that you had in a way that is suitable for the type of convocation you are having with them. The third stage is where you have the third stage is where you have spoken and sent the message that you have wanted to say. Next comes the stage where the other person receives the message that you have said to them. Stage 5 is when the person is processing what you have just said to them and finally stage 6 is where they have fully understood what you have said. They cycle then begins again when the other person is planning on replying back to what you have just told them.
Website used for this information:
Argyles theory might occur in a hospital when a patient is having a one to one with the doctor. At first the patient would first think about what it is that they are wanting to talk to the doctor about. For example, they could be thinking of telling the doctor that they have been coughing quite a lot recently. The patient would then come up with a way to say the message to the doctor in a suitable way that suits the convocation that they are having. The patient will then have said all the symptoms they have been having and that would be the message being sent. The doctor will then hear what the patient is saying and that is him receiving the message