Communication Strategies and Skills for Nurses

Communication Strategies and Skills for Nurses

Nurse-patient communication is critical to a pleasant patient experience since nurses are on the front lines of patient care.

It is critical to improve nurse communication skills in order to provide a favorable patient experience.

While health technology has numerous benefits for patients, it can also have a negative impact on nurse-patient relationships.

These hurdles can be overcome with the use of targeted communication tactics.

Patients may misunderstand directions and fail to follow treatment regimens as a result of poor communication or a lack of communication.

It can also cause teamwork failures, which can lead to medical blunders.

According to a Joint Commission assessment, poor communication during patient transfers was shown to be responsible for 80 percent of significant medical errors.

Therefore, collaboration with fellow nurses and colleagues from other professions requires excellent communication skills.

Communication Strategies Between Nurses and Patients

1. Creating Personal Bonds

Strong interpersonal relationships serve as a foundation for nurse-patient communication.

Meaningful relationships will make it easier for nurses to do their professional duties while providing care.

Making simple modifications to nursing workflow can help you form meaningful nurse-patient interactions.

Even if it's only for a few minutes, sitting next to a patient and talking with them can enhance patient satisfaction.

A nurse who often does regular rounds for example, can check in with a patient who has just had hip surgery and requires assistance to get across the room.

Rather than risking the patient falling, the nurse can grab whatever for the patient needs.

Similarly, a nurse who listens carefully might discern the underlying cause of a patient's fears and concerns regarding a procedure.

For example, the patient may be hesitant to have a hip replacement because she is concerned about the negative side effects.

When a nurse is able to detect a patient's concerns, she can help to ease those fears and improve the patient's experience.


2. Communication in Writing

Effective nurse-to-nurse communication also requires written communication abilities.

You will be in charge of developing and updating patient records as a nurse.

It's vital that your records are correct and up to date so that your patients receive the best possible care.

Making notes right after you finish caring for the patient so you don't forget anything can be helpful.

Also, keep patient confidentiality in mind.

3. Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication components such as facial expressions, eye contact, body language, gestures, posture, and voice tone are also important in building relationships.

Smiling can make a big difference.

Additionally, maintaining eye contact and nodding your head to show that you are interested in what the patient says is helpful.

The use of non-aggressive body language to communicate openness goes a long way.

4. Using Communication To Enhance Patient Education

Patient teach-back is a popular method of patient education.

A nurse should ask patients to repeat an idea, set of directions, or other health-related information in their own words during patient teach-back.

This aids the patient in processing the information and allows the practitioner to ensure that the patient genuinely understood the conversation.

Nurses should also use the printed patient education resources that are available to them.

The majority of hospitals have printed instructional booklets, digital tools, or information on the online patient portal, website, or in the electronic health record (EHR).

The best practices for patient education, according to a Bradley University guide, include:

  • Provide explanations for difficult medical terms using simple language.
  • Speak slowly and clearly. Patients may be unable to follow the discussion if you speak too quickly, and queries may be disrupted.
  • Pose inquiries to the patient. This entails using patient teach-back or just asking the patient where he or she has questions.
  • Rather than waiting for the patient to speak up, ask whether she has any questions concerning the information you've given them.


5. Building Trust and Cultural Awareness

You'll most likely interact with people from various socio-economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds every day.

Every patient and coworker is different.

Therefore it's critical to be attentive and sensitive to their needs.

For example, assess the person's English proficiency and adjust your words accordingly, or opt for a translator if necessary.

As they endeavor to build the next generation of nurses, nurse educators and leaders should also embody trust.

Healthcare providers must earn patients' trust by paying close attention and addressing every complaint and concern.

It takes time to build trust.

Some patients are afraid of being at a hospital.

It's critical that they feel as relaxed as possible.

Nurse leaders and educators must always tell the truth, communicate information openly, and be willing to acknowledge mistakes if they want to inspire trust.

6. Technology's Role in Nurse-Patient Communication

Health IT plays an important role in facilitating effective nurse-patient communication.

A variety of resources are available on bedside tables to assist patients in becoming familiar with the hospital and their care teams, resulting in a more positive hospital stay.

Nurse call lights and call buttons can also be improved with bedside tables.

According to a 2015 study, a bedside call button tool that uses short sentences and illustrations enhances nurse and patient satisfaction.

Patients' experiences can be improved by making bedside displays easier to operate.

As a result, nurses are better equipped to anticipate patient demands and appropriately manage their own resources.


The demands to generate great patient experiences will continue to loom big in healthcare, notwithstanding the rise of health technology and its application during care encounters.

Nurses will be on the front lines of patient care.

Thus it will be critical for them to learn how to provide a positive experience through effective communication.

Nurses will need to strike a balance between compassion, clinical skills, and technological demands in order to provide a high-quality care experience that meets both the physical and emotional requirements of patients.

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