Professional Communication

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Professional Communication in Healthcare

Professional communication is an essential component to practice. Healthcare professionals have the fundamental responsibility of ensuring that they uphold the highest standards of professionalism when communicating to patients. The decision to adopt the most effective form of communication would result in the attainment of better outcomes for patients. Unfortunately, cases have been reported where the healthcare professionals have consistently failed to adhere to the expected standards of proper communication. Consequently, the attainment of improved outcomes with regard to treatment has been impaired due to lack of effective communication. Professional practice entails the adoption and application of sound communication skills that are aimed at improving the way in which patients and care providers converse with each other (Linn et al., 2016). The exchange of information is essential since it will form the basis of treatment. In a scenario where there is no proper communication, chances are that quality treatment would be affected. The discussion provides a comprehensive analysis of the communication that has ensued between the nurse and the patient Shona. The findings will be instrumental in providing recommendations how to best improve communication between healthcare professionals and patients.

Analysis of Effective and Ineffective Communication used by the Nurse

Effective Communication

The nurse has depicted signs of active listening when engaging with Shona. In essence, the ability to embrace active listening is a confirmation of the fact that one is effective in communication. The nurse indicates that she is interested in the conversation by focusing on what Shona is saying. For example, she asks Shona to explain further what she thinks could be the problem. Secondly, the nurse has embraced reflection throughout the discussion that has been held with the Shona. For example, she provides suggestions on what could possibly be affecting Shona, and even indicates that it could be prudent to see a counselor.

Ineffective Communication

The first instance of ineffective communication is reflected in attempts by the nurse of being prejudicial. For example, she blatantly suggests that Shona could be stressed and that can be the possible cause of illness. Notably, it is essential to understand that it is premature to conclude on what is actually affecting a patient before making any tests. Thus, by jumping to a conclusion, it is evident that there could be a breakdown of communication (Lin et al., 2017). Secondly, the nurse is judgmental in how she communicates with Shona. For example, she concludes that Shona could be anxious, and asks her to reaffirm the statement. In the scenario, it could be essential for the nurse to create an environment where Shona can speak freely about what is affecting her. Thirdly, the nurse has the "know-it all" attitude. For instance, the nurse states that she has more experience than some of the physicians working at the facility. Even though Shona suggests that it could be vital for her to see a medical doctor, the nurse disregards the remarks. Finally, ineffective communication is manifested when the nurse depicts lack of disregard to the patient's feelings. For example, she does not greet the patient upon turning up but instead proceeds to ask Shona why she is at the hospital. The effect is creation of a tense environment that affects communication between the two.

Consequences to the Nurse-Patient Relationship due to Ineffective Communication

The first consequence is emergence of possible medical errors. In the scenario, it is evident that the nurse is way ahead of the patient in the course of the communication. The nurse has not taken the initiative to understand the actual problem that is affecting Shona, but instead, provides premature conclusions to the problem. For example, the nurse suggests that the patient could be stressed because of the death of her father. The conclusion is primitive since there are multiple problems that are affecting the patient. The second consequence is an impairment in the coordination of care. For example, the nurse has no clue as to the exact problem that could be affecting Shona. The hallmark of the conversation is based on a consistent assumption of stress emanating from either the loss of Shona's father, absence of the husband or the state of her ailing mother. Thee ineffective communication consequently results in failure to point out the exact problem which could be affecting the patient. Eventually, it would be challenging to provide the necessary care based on the information that is provided by the patient (Ware, 2017). Third, the patient may hold back information from the nurse, a decision that could affect the provision of care. For instance, the nurse prematurely states that Shona could be stressed, when in actual sense she is grieving. In that scenario, the nurse exposes herself as an individual who has little regard to the situation affecting the patient. Consequently, it would be difficult for her to open up and explain the actual problems that are affecting her. Thus, the attainment of quality outcomes could be affected in the long run.

Suggestions or Alternative Statements

The first suggestion regards the decision to take notes when communicating with Shona. In the case scenario, it was evident that some of the questions the nurse asked were repetitive. For instance, the nurse does not write down the feedback of the patient hence, the issue of repetition was heavily manifested. In future, it could be critical to record the information that is being provided by the client. Next, it would be essential for the nurse to practice the art of thinking on what they are about to say before speaking. In the conversation held with the patient, it was evident that some of the questions which were asked had not been thought out. The nurse made assumptions in most instances and it could be reflected in the way in which the patient was providing feedback. At a particular instance, Shona thought it wise to speak to the physician instead of engaging with the nurse. The decision to speak to a different healthcare provider is a confirmation of the fact that the patient does not have enough confidence in the ability of the nurse to take care of her. Thirdly, the nurse should learn to be respectful and ensure that she treats everyone in an equal manner, while taking into consideration the issues that could be affecting them (Leslie, & Lonneman, 2016). In the current scenario, the nurse disregards the ability of the physicians to provide the much needed care. The attempts by Shona to ask to see a doctor are thwarted when the nurse states that she is better off and has more experience than some of the physicians. Consequently, it would have been vital for her to treat everyone in an equal manner. Finally, it would have been mandatory for the nurse to listen to everything that Shona had to say without forming any judgmental opinion or making remarks that would otherwise be hurting.

Suggestions on ways to build Nurse-Patient Relationship

The first approach regards the building of trust between the nurse and the patient. The nurse has the fundamental role of ensuring that she creates an environment that is key toward promoting cohesion with patients. In the discussions held with the patient, efforts must be undertaken to put their best interests first. Notably, the importance of trust cannot be overstated. The patients need to feel that they can count on the nurse. In the case scenario, the decision by the patient to ask for the doctor is a confirmation that they have no confidence with the nurse. Secondly, it is critical for the nurse to actively listen to everything a patient has to say. The nurse must ensure that they show concern to the well-being of the patient which goes a long way in reducing the anxiety that could be engulfing them. In having a discussion with the patients, it is imperative to have eye contact with them since it would be a confirmation of them acknowledging the discussion that is being held with the patient. Notably, active listening will reduce the possibility of misunderstanding and miscommunication (Crawford, Candlin, & Roger, 2017). Furthermore, the nurse should practice empathy. In the case scenario, it is evident that the nurse has not considered the fact that her patient is grieving. However, by practicing empathy, it would be possible to understand the dynamics of care leading to the development of a healthy relationship with the patients.

In conclusion, professional communication in healthcare is imperative for attainment of better outcomes. Nurses have a duty of ensuring they adopt effective communication measures for realization of better treatment results. Patients look up to the care providers for proper healthcare which can be attained through effective communication.


Crawford, T., Candlin, S., & Roger, P. (2017). New perspectives on understanding cultural diversity in nurse–patient communication. Collegian, 24(1), 63-69.

Leslie, J. L., & Lonneman, W. (2016). Promoting Trust in the Registered Nurse-Patient Relationship. Home healthcare now, 34(1), 38-42.

Lin, M. F., Hsu, W. S., Huang, M. C., Su, Y. H., Crawford, P., & Tang, C. C. (2017). “I couldn't even talk to the patient”: Barriers to communicating with cancer patients as perceived by nursing students. European journal of cancer care, 26(4).

Linn, A. J., van Weert, J. C., van Dijk, L., Horne, R., & Smit, E. G. (2016). The value of nurses’ tailored communication when discussing medicines: Exploring the relationship between satisfaction, beliefs and adherence. Journal of health psychology, 21(5), 798-807.

Ware, D. (2017). The therapeutic relationship between nurse and patient in the endoscopy setting: a literature review. Gastrointestinal Nursing, 15(10), 34-44.

October 13, 2023

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