The purpose of this essay is to discuss essential communication skills existing between nurses and midwives. Communication is a vital element in the healthcare sector because it helps to share experiences between service users and providers. Effective communication takes place where the communicator and the receiver take time to understand and listen to one another. For instance, in the healthcare setting, a nurse or a midwife should genuinely show empathy and listen to the concerns of the other party and avoid being judgmental (Kourkouta &Papathanasiou, 2014). Therefore, the paper seeks to address essential communication skills for nurses and midwives. Further, it unfolds poor communication traits depicted in the interview and suggestions for improvement. The information provided is fictitious to ensure confidentiality. Effective listening, therapeutic touch, and empathy are the primary communication skills to be used in the healthcare sector because they help to create a therapeutic relationship.
Analysis Concerning Active Listening
Active listening is a fundamental element of interpersonal communication. Listening is the process of hearing what the speaker is talking. The method of listening promotes neutrality since it helps to understand the concepts of the speaker before taking sides (Julia, 2015). It also involves taking active pauses in the middle of the conversation to allow someone explore their thoughts (Kourkouta &Papathanasiou, 2014). There is always communication breakdown in contexts where the parties involved are not interested to listen to one another. As a result, individuals take sides even before interpreting the message. Barriers to active listening include noise, lack of interest and using a language the receiver does not understand. Examples of effective active listening include a smile, eye contact, and posture.
An example of poor listening from the video is repeating the words of the speaker. Repeating the words means that the listener was not attentive when the speaker was talking and tries to interpret what the speaker said. Below is a conversation between the interviewer and interviewee.
Interviewer: 'when is your birth?'
Interviewee: '1st January 1995'
Interviewer: '1st January 1995'
Interviewer: 'How do you identify yourself? '
Interviewee: 'A female'
Interviewer: 'A female' (2:16)
The conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee shows that something is destructing the interviewer's ability to grasp the response of the interviewee at once without repeating the words. Repetition means that the individual is trying to interpret or confirming if that is what the speaker said. Active listening involves understanding what the speaker is saying without repeating every sentence or reply (Jill, Cheryl & Eleanor, 2015). Therefore, the above conversation is an example of poor listening skills since the listener has to repeat the words to confirm if indeed that is what the speaker said. In effective communication, the listener should be attentive and understand all points and ask for clarification whenever they do not understand. In this context, the listener is repeating the words not to forget.
The suggestion to improve effective listening skills based on this conversation is being attentive. Attentiveness does not mean staring at the speaker. It is possible to look aside or take notes while the speaker is talking (Kourkouta & Papathanasiou, 2014). Most importantly, the listener should be attentive to hear what the speaker is saying. Attention means that the listener should not be absent-minded as this will affect concentration. Furthermore, it is crucial to eliminate biases and negative attitude towards the speaker as this destructs attentiveness.
Analysis Concerning Empathy
Empathy means being aware of the emotions and feelings of the parties involved in communication. It is among the primary elements of emotional intelligence. Effective communication takes place in an environment where the listener and the speaker understand one another and consider the emotions of others. The primary elements of empathy include understanding others (Yan-Shing, Kirstie, Anayda, Marie, & Debra, 2018). The parties to communication should understand the emotions of others and use appropriate language not to provoke their feelings. The other one is developing others by providing feedback that helps them identify their strengths and weaknesses in communication. Therefore, communicators in the healthcare sector should behave as if they are in the position of the speaker encouraging effective communication.
Strong communication is two-way meaning that there must be a receiver and speaker. It is essential to develop thoughts in a way so that others can understand. The communicators must organize their ideas and use formal language and models the receiver understands (Lambrini & Ioanna, 2014). For example, in the healthcare sector, a nurse should use a language patients understand. On the other hand, they should pretend to be in the position of the patient, and this improves feelings and attitude supporting effective two-way communication. Therefore, empathy enables communicators to take the interests of the other party into account.
An example of poor empathy in the conversation is illustrated in the following extract;
Interviewer: 'You speak in very good English to me, is that your language? '
Interviewer: 'So you don't need an interpreter....that's good' (6:05)
The first thing a communicator can identify from the above extract is that the interviewer is judgmental. The fact that the interviewee speaks good English does not mean that she does not require an interpreter unless she says so. An example of ineffective communication is when the interviewer does not allow the interviewee to complete what they wanted to say. Judgmental leads to making wrong decisions which affect communication efficiency (Kourkouta &Papathanasiou, 2014). At no point should the interviewee assume anything about the interviewee unless they state so. For example, the English language can be the first language, but the client is fluent in a different language like French; thus the interviewer should not be judgmental but ask the patient if she needs an interpreter.
Based on the analysis of the conversation, the way to solve the example of poor empathic is by avoiding being judgmental and assuming concepts about the patient. The interviewee should withhold the judgment and take the opinion of the patient first (Josephine, Donia & Liberato, 2014). It is an essential practice in communication to withhold judgments especially in the first meeting between the patient and the healthcare professional. It is wrong to judge the perspective of the patient that they do not need an interpreter without hearing their explanation (Julia, 2015). The factor that led to this poor empathy is poor questioning. The question could have sought to identify the language the patients prefer instead of being judgmental.
Analysis Concerning Therapeutic Touch
Therapeutic touch is another critical element of communication in the healthcare sector. Social and healthcare workers come into contact with the patients and touch is inevitable because of the relationship. It is difficult to fulfill duties as a medical practitioner without touching the patients. Nurses diagnose patients through contact to ascertain their experiences and understand the concerns of the patient (Tonia, Sally, & Peter, 2017). Therefore, it is a professional touch to determine the feelings and assess the extent of pain the patient is suffering. It is concerned with hepatic communication, and this is the process of interaction involving touch. It is a form of communication where nurses touch patients to certain the level of treatment required (Laurie, Peter & Tracy, 2017). For example, as the patient explains how they feel in joints and swollen organs, the nurse must touch to ascertain the signs and symptoms. Therapeutic touch helps to recognize the extent of pain or swelling or disconnection in the joints. Therefore, therapeutic touch is necessary and unavoidable in the healthcare sector. Consequently, it is essential to combine theory and haptics for effective communication to take place between the nurse and the patient.
On the other hand, there is therapeutic relationship which refers to the relationship between a patient and a healthcare professional. It is a means through nurses and patients build a professional and engaging relationship benefiting both parties through effective communication (Kourkouta &Papathanasiou, 2014). The relationship is crucial since it helps to share experiences and knowledge supporting provision of quality healthcare services. For example, through the effective relationship, the parties share experiences and concerns openly.
Interviewer: 'So where are we now......do you need support services.... you're pretty younger to need support services'
Interviewer: 'Oh, okay, next of kin'
Interviewee: 'My husband' (5:16)
The above conversation shows an example of a poor therapeutic relationship. It is because the interviewer is judgmental that the patient is too young and does not require support services. Judging patients can be harmful to the relationship. It will hinder a positive correlation between the client and the nurse because she will feel not involved since the professional is judging her. She should have the opportunity to respond to all questions even the ones that seem to be rhetorical. Therefore, it is essential to avoid being judgmental and allow patients to respond and give their perspectives (Katebi, Khadivzadeh, Sepehri, Esmaily, 2017). On the other hand, the physical contact took place only the handshake at 1m10s and 6m45s. Consequently, there is little when it comes to the therapeutic relationship.
The therapeutic relationship can be improved in the future by avoiding any form of judgment or bias and let the patients fill the forms. It is crucial because they will give answers to the best of their knowledge and will feel involved (Bramhall, 2014). Secondly, it is necessary to apply therapeutic touch as this helps to share experiences and concerns instead of relying on theory. For example, therapeutic touch helps to examine the pain to better understand the experience of the patient.
The purpose of the essay was to discuss the critical components of healthcare. It has identified examples of poor communication skills affecting the relationship between patients and nurses. Communication in the healthcare sector is the process of sharing information between patients, nurses, and midwives. It helps to share experience and concerns improving the provision of quality of healthcare services. Effective communication takes when the nurses understand the concerns of the patients, and they must focus on building a therapeutic relationship. The three most crucial communication discussed include active listening, empathy and a therapeutic relationship. Unless nurses and patients share experiences and concerns, communication will not be sufficient; hence stating the importance of understanding important communication factors.
Bramhall, E. (2014). Effective communication skills in nursing practice. Nursing Standard, 29(14), 53-62.
Jill, L. Cheryl, P & Eleanor, K. (2015). Building professional nursing communication skills. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Josephine, A. Donia, B & Liberato, C. (2014). Nurses' and midwives' acquisition of competency in spiritual care: Afocus on education. Nurse education Today 34(2014), 1460-1466.
Julia, B. (2015). Communication in nursing-E book. London: Elsevier.
Katebi M. Khadivzadeh,T, Sepehri, Z, Esmai...
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