Communication in Nursing

Communication in Nursing

Communication in Nursing

Communication in Nursing


This nursing communication manual provides a practical approach using examples and exercises on communication skills and techniques to help understand the basic concepts of therapeutic considerations and apply them in clinical situations.


Communication is a life-long learning process for the nurse. Nurses make the intimate journey with the client and family from the miracle of birth to the mystery of death. Nurses build assertive communication for this journey. Nurses provide education that helps clients change life-long habits. Nurses communicate with people under stress: clients, family, and colleagues. Nurses deal with anger and depression, with dementia and psychosis, with joy and despair. Nurses serve as client advocates and as members of interdisciplinary teams who may have different ideas about priorities for care. Nurses return to school to specialize, write grants for research proposals, become entrepreneurs. Nurses become administrators, leaders, case managers, infection control specialists, quality experts, and educators. Nurses move into industry in occupational health and into schools and communities to impact the health of large populations and communities. Nurses create new positions where the nurse's voice can affect health care quality. Nurses cross international boundaries to share knowledge to promote worldwide health. Nurses must be assertive to ask the right questions and make their voices heard. Nurses must be assertive to communicate their own needs and be prepared to assert themselves to ensure balance in their own lives. Without such balance, the high-stress environment may diminish the nurse's effectiveness.

Despite the complexity of technology and the multiple demands on a nurse's time, it is the intimate moments of connection that can make all the difference in the quality of care and meaning for the client and the nurse. As nurses refine their communications skills and build their confidence, they can move from novice to expert. Nurses honor the differences in clients with humility and learn and grow in their ability to trust their intuition, to be open to what Martin Buber, a Jewish theologian, calls the I-Thou relationship—the sacred moment of connection when we acknowledge the divine presence in each of us, the essence of each person.


This new edition provides information to help the nurse communicate authentically, from information on culture, gender, and age to an introduction to electronic communication. Each chapter includes examples of these "moments of connection." Many of these were contributed by nurses at the annual meeting of The American Society of Pain Management Nurses, 1998, at a workshop conducted by the author, "The Magical Moments of Connection ... F.O.C.U.S.E.D. on the Heal-

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