A Nurse’s Language Guide: the Importance of Effective Communication

Nurses have a multitude of responsibilities when it comes to caregiving, and communication is one of the things that tops the list. Whether it’s with service users or other healthcare professionals, communication is an important part of any nurse’s career. However, in nursing, it’s not just what say but how you say it that matters.

In order to help you build healthy and productive relationships with your service users, we have put together a few tips that you can use to establish effective communication and provide the best care possible.

Phrase Your Questions Tentatively

Nurses ask their service users questions like “How are you feeling?” and “What may I do for you?” every day – and there’s a reason for it. Phrasing your questions using why, what, where, when, and how provides the most potent way of understanding their feelings and condition. However, you shouldn’t overlook the use of broad opening statements like “Is there anything you’d like to tell me?”, because it will allow the service user to set the direction of the conversation as well as give them an opportunity to begin expressing themselves.

While it’s important to ask open questions, it’s equally effective to listen to responses without interrupting. Doing so conveys interest and respect for the service user’s point of view, so take the time and listen to what is being said.

Avoid Using Overly Complicated Words

A common mistake in nursing is the use of bigger and more complicated words. While fans of popular hospital dramas may be familiar with some terminology healthcare professionals use, there are other names, phrases, and abbreviations that nurses use to describe situations that service users simply won’t know the meaning of without further explanation. Medical jargon is pretty tricky for anyone outside the profession to understand so be careful not to use too much of it in front of a service user.

Another mistake that some nurses make is using slang terms that are not fitting or appropriate. For better communication, be sure to avoid these lingos.

Understand Your Communication Roadblocks

Everyone has communication roadblocks. Everyone has come across situations that had them lost for words and made them feel so frustrated that they struggled to express their thoughts effectively. Knowing these roadblocks to your communication can help you find ways around these issues. For instance, if you know that seeing a service user in agony interferes with your communication skills, then you need to learn to cope with such situations better.

Equally, try to build a strong enough rapport with your service users and their families to understand their communication roadblocks.

Communicating with one another is an important part of life, especially in healthcare. We hope these tips assist you in continuing to provide high-quality care for your service user. For more tips on caregiving, you can carry on reading our blogs on healthcare staffing.

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