The Importance of Building a Therapeutic Nurse-Client Relationship

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Essay question: Discuss how nurses use professional communication skills to develop a therapeutic relationship with patients.

Communication is regarded as an influential factor in improving care and preventing serious adverse events among people whose condition is deteriorating. Therapeutic nurse-client relationship is built on confidentiality, safety, consistency, and reliability. Patient with certain disorders especially major effective disorders require treatment using a collaboration of medication and therapeutic nurse-client relationship. Research indicates that therapeutic nurse-client relationship facilitates improvement emotional problems that accompany disorders such as low self-esteem and poor self-image. Thus, nurses need to therapeutic relationship with patients by utilizing professional communication skill such as use of person centered care, effective documentation, and verbal and non-verbal communication.

Bruce is a patient who gets to seek help from a registered nurse and presents crucial information relating to his life. In this aspect, it is essential for the nurse practitioner to build a therapeutic relationship with Bruce to get to understand him better and in providing the appropriate intervention. Building a therapeutic relationship with the patient foster successful administration of intervention and will prevent mutual withdrawal and frustration (Apesoa-Varano p. 328). In building a therapeutic relationship, the nurse should begin by initiating a verbal and non-communication to foster the sharing of distressing thoughts and feelings. During the communication process the nurse should maximize his/her communication skills to ensure he/she understands every detail relating to the patient current problem. In this case, the nurse practitioner should begin by listening keenly while noting down crucial information. During the conversation, in developing a therapeutic relationship, the nurse should demonstrate a positive non-verbal behavior which include paying attention while maintaing an eye contact, sitting in an appropriate body posture, and body language (Hill p. 14). Paying attention during the interview with the patient will help the nurse to notice Bruce disturbances in thinking, behaving, and feeling significant in exploring the triggers of stress.

During interview or encounter with Bruce, the nurse practitioner should demonstrate positive regard by communicating to him using actions as opposed to actions. The nurse should avoid a judgmental response especially in responding to drinking and smoking behaviour. Bruce is takes alcohol and smokes excessively unhealthy behaviour harmful to his health. Thus in responding to the above behavior, the nurse practioners should provide a more helpful response such as “so your drinking and smoking lifestyle are also part of the picture. You sound as it this lifestyle of taking alcohol and smoking is not making you happy (Varcarolis p. 13).” The positive response will provide empathy thereby involving the patient more.

The patient-centered care fosters development of a therapeutic relationship the nurse is able to focus on the patient personal needs, desires, wants, and desires, and utilizes them as crucial in the nursing process. In Bruce case, the nurse should focus on understanding Bruce behaviour which includes taking alcohol, smoking, and avoiding cooking. A better analysis and understanding of Bruce behavior will assist the nurse in establishing a possible meaning of the behavior to Bruce (Varcarolis p. 13).  The nurse practitioner will therefore understand whether Bruce attitude towards his behavior crucial in understanding what his needs, desires and wants, are and which intervention will best provide the best response.

Besides, despite the client behavior being offensive, the nurse practitioner should provide the appropriate care while refraining from his own value system to judge the patient feelings, behaviors or thoughts. In this case, the nurse practitioner should stand with Bruce by guiding him on how to quit smoking and alcohol gradually; this is through guiding him on how to cope with stressful situations. Despite realizing that the Bruce smoking and drinking behaviors are hindering him from living a satisfying life thereby stimulating development of stress, the nurse practitioner should refrain from labeling the behavior as either good or bad (Levett-Jones p. 17). The most important aspect will involve providing patient centered care by identifying feelings and thoughts that influence Bruce behavior. The aspect will meet the patient needs thereby facilitating development of a therapeutic relationship.

The nursing may use their professional skills to build on therapeutic relationships by delivering patient centered care through helping the clients to develop resources. The nurse practitioner should recognize Bruce’s strengths and encourage him to work towards his optimal level of functioning. The aspect of encouraging Bruce to use resources at his disposal to live a healthy lifestyle, it will help to build a therapeutic relationship by minimizing his feeling of dependency, and helpless. Also Bruce will be more encouraged to change to a positive lifestyle by withdrawing from unhealthy behaviors.

Nurses also use professional communication to develop therapeutic relationship with the patient through proper documentation of client information. Proper documentation involves appropriate recording of patient information obtained during assessing, planning, and implementing an intervention (Abadie p. 13). It is of importance to record patient information before, during, and after intervention. In this regard, the nurse practitioner should gather and record information relating to Bruce current behaviour, health history, social and work life. The nurse practioners may further store the information in the patient database for easy management and retrieval. Most of the information provided by Bruce is highly confidential; thereby the nurse practitioner should look forward to creating recording and storing the information in an accurate, secure, and confidential manner (Hall p. 21).  Besides, a therapeutic nurse-client relationship is established through proper maintance of patient record. The nurse practitioner should maintain a proper record by accurately recording Bruce progress, and compiling all the health-related data obtained throughout the process.

Nurses’ professionals should learn to develop therapeutic relationships by engaging the patients through professional communication. The communication with the patient should be engaging, respectful while showing empathy. Nurses should show respect of patient values by refraining from commenting on the patient behavior and avoiding passing judgmental responses. Besides, professional communication that should be adopted towards developing and maintaing therapeutic relationship involve adapting of appropriate verbal and non verbal behaviour, such as paying attention, maintaing an eye contact, and  proper body posture. Establishment of therapeutic relationship also entails proper recording, maintance, and transfer of patient information. Appropriate documentation entails recording of patient information in an accurate and confidential manner.

Works Cited

Abadie, Roberto, et al. “Consent for Nondiagnostic Research Biopsies: A Pilot Study of

Participant Recall and Therapeutic Orientation.” IRB: Ethics & Human Research, vol. 36, no. 3, 2014, pp. 9–15.,

Apesoa-Varano, Ester Carolina. “Interprofessional Conflict and Repair: A Study of Boundary

Work in the Hospital.” Sociological Perspectives, vol. 56, no. 3, 2013, pp. 327–349.

Hill, Robyn, et al. Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery : A Person-Centred Approach to

Care, Wolters Kluwer Health, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central, Created from wsudt on 2018-02-21 14:14:19.

Hall, H. H. R. T. C. Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery. : Wolters Kluwer Health.

Retrieved from Created from wsudt on 2017-01-23 16:21:48.

Levett-Jones, T. Critical Conversations for Patient Safety. : Pearson Australia.2013 Retrieved

from Created from wsudt on 2017-01-23 16:26:01

Varcarolis Elizabeth M. Developing Therapeutic Relationships. Psychological nursing tools;

2000; 10-170

October 13, 2023

Profession Sociology



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