The Essence of Communication in Nursing Care

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Communication is an essential component in healthcare

Communication is an essential component that enhances the development of a relationship between a practitioner and a patient in healthcare. According to Booth, Maguire, and Hillier, (1999), communication allows sending, sharing, and receiving information and message. Therefore, this makes it an essential requirement in successful nursing. Faulkner (1998) also necessitates that, "being able to communicate effectively with others is at the heart of all patient care." It makes all processes to appear successful due to effective understanding between two people. According to research by Ludwick and Silva (2000), nurse practitioners operate in a diverse environment that encompasses patients and other practitioners from different sociocultural backgrounds. Thus, successful communication becomes a challenge due to differences in languages and cultural values. This paper evaluates the essence of communication in nursing care while instilling a critical focus in the diversity across the world.

Nursing Communication and Diversity

Nursing care thrives in the development of therapeutic communication between a patient and a practitioner. However, according to Campinha‐Bacote (1995), nurses face numerous challenges where they serve patients from different cultures. Nurses who are only limited to their culture and social backgrounds may not be suitably fit in providing care to patients "in their own world" (Ryan, Twibell, Brigham, & Bennett, 2000). Therefore, being able to communicate in a diverse world acts as a primary milestone for proper service and outcomes in nursing care. Effective communication translates into increased competence where practitioners are open and ready to serve different patients and in different places (Calvillo, Clark, Ballantyne, Pacquiao, Purnell, & Villarruel, 2009). On the other hand, lack of such competence leads to reduced service quality and ability (Calvillo et al., 2009). Communication in a diverse world entails the reflection of various requirements that practitioners should observe while serving socially and culturally different patients.

The importance of understanding the message transmitted

Firstly, while the act of communication involves listening and speaking, a practitioner should be keen to perfect on understanding the message transmitted during interaction with a patient (Lum, Dowedoff, Bradley, Kerekes, & Valeo, 2015). The communication message may be presented in the form of words, actions, hidden messages, or even practitioner thoughts about the service user. According to Lum et al. (2015), nurses at times face challenges in interpreting the oral messages given by patients amidst cultural differences. In such a case, it is essential for a practitioner to focus on non-verbal cues such as signals, gestures, eye contact, posture, body movement, facial expression, and actions (Kourkouta & Papathanasiou, 2014). In communicating in a diverse setting, a practitioner should not be limited to relying on language to enhance understanding. At the same time, a practitioner should not ignore the importance of non-verbal communication in enhancing understanding and message reception. This type of communication provides an option for the establishment of a confident relationship even where oral communication is a challenge (O'hagan, Manias, Elder, Pill, Woodward‐Kron, McNamara, & McColl, 2014). At the same time, it translates into effectiveness and improvement in the practice and outcomes while serving patients from all backgrounds. The ability to learn and master communication and world diversity also benefits the healthcare system. By interpreting messages easily and responding through serving the patients adequately, practitioners ensure a faster and smooth run of activities in a hospital or clinical setting. Furthermore, effectiveness in communication enables nurses to develop relationships with patients, which translates into improved healthcare outcomes.

Enhancing cooperation and collaboration in healthcare

Secondly, communicating in a world of diversity enhances an organisation or workplace to flourish and succeed in various ways. In the nursing field, this type of communication does not only come as a legal requirement. Instead, it also presents an opportunity to connect and establish relationships with the patients, communities, and healthcare consumers (Rile, 2015). As a result, this leads to efficiency in introducing and expanding healthcare services such as medication, education, actual communication during treatment and surgery, and relating with patients and communities during activities such as follow-ups (Reising, Carr, Gindling, Barnes, Garletts, & Ozdogan, 2017). Communicating in a diverse world also creates a platform for cooperation, collaboration, and teamwork (Reising et al., 2017). Nurses and other practitioners may need to collaborate and work as teams while providing services such as community education or handling patients during primary care. Where practitioners come from various social and cultural backgrounds, communication that reflects diversity becomes an essential component for success (Burnard & Gill, 2014). Consequently, practitioners find activities easier and increasingly possible. These activities include decision-making, providing or understanding guidelines, and also the involvement of all team members in the procedures. Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare systems should take advantage of the communication in a diverse world as a force that transforms an organisation by increasing efficiency and improving outcomes. In this light, the organisations should promote communication diversity by hiring individuals from different cultures. Hospitals and clinics should also educate practitioners on the essence of ensuring diversity in communication.

Overcoming obstacles and promoting understanding

Lastly, communication in a diverse world also allows the practitioners to determine, observe, and avoid the obstacles that hinder one's ability to perform and thrive in diversity (Shafakhah, Zarshenas, Sharif, & Sarvestani, 2015). Through diversity, individuals tend to differ in their religious beliefs, personal opinions, ideologies, gender, race, capabilities, intelligence, language, intelligence, and income among many other backgrounds (Campinha‐Bacote, 1995). These backgrounds have significant impacts on how people talk, address their concern, behave, interact, develop their relationship with others, and perceive things (Ryan et al., 2000). Engaging in a diverse environment actively through communication allows one to determine the backgrounds under which individuals differ. In the healthcare settings, determining these factors may help practitioners to avoid communicating or acting in a way that limits trust, confidence, comfort, and understanding between them and the patients (Lum et al., 2015). At the same time, nurses can eliminate and avoid discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudice that normally occur during communication (Burnard & Gill, 2014). In this light, individuals observe and respect the socio-cultural differences that exist between them and others while learning to perform their duties without limitations (Shafakhah et al., 2015). Thus, communicating amidst diversity acts as an opportunity to improve on how practitioners view their culture as compared to that of the patients or their colleagues.


The current society is rapidly growing and becoming more diverse. Therefore, the need for communication skills among individuals serving the society members has increasingly become important in the recent past. With the current changes, communication in a diverse world has become a vital component in organisations and healthcare. In the healthcare field, proper communication skills in a diverse environment translates into an effective resolution of differences, the establishment of trust and confidence, and creation of platforms for decision-making, cooperation, and collaboration. At the same time, it allows one to learn and observe the diversity obstacles that may hinder effectiveness in communication and processes in healthcare. Therefore, communication in a diverse world acts like a tool that translates into the effectiveness and better outcomes in the field of nursing and healthcare at large.


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October 13, 2023

Health Sociology


Nursing Communication

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