Communication In Nursing Essay

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Communication is a meaningful exchange between two or more people expressing facts, needs, opinions and thoughts through both verbal and non-verbal means (DOH 2010). Communication is a fundamental of nursing as you will be speaking to, not only patients but families of those patients, fellow students and mentors (OXFORD handbook). Nurses spend the most time with patients than any other healthcare professionals and therefore need to be continually aware as individuals in the effects of their interactions (McCabe 2006). The Johari Window (cited by Sanders, 2002) suggests that through examining ourselves and through feedback from others, we become more self-aware. For example, it shows a box split into four different areas: an open, blind, hidden and unknown area. From opening up in one area such as the open area (Be open and honest NMC, 2008) you and the patient gain an insight into the unknown area- you receiving possible feedback, and in turn becoming self-aware. In mental health nursing through similar intervention, the patient reveals their genuine attitudes to themselves and as a nurse reflects on what he says and feels, he can then become aware of his attitudes (Interpersonal Relations in Nursing: A Conceptual Frame of Reference for psychodynamic nursing. By Hildegard E. Peplau 1991 springer publishing company new york), thus understanding their problem more completely (Collins 2009)
Communicating in nursing can be complex (Spouse at al 2008) involving both verbal and non-verbal means. My focus here will be on the latter, due to the fact it accounts for ninety per cent of communication taking place. Non-verbal communication involves the awareness of; posture, body movement, facial expressions, gaze, paralanguage (accent, pitch, volume of voice) and also includes appearance and the immediate physical environment (Spouse et al 2008). In terms of paralanguage, this can change the meaning of words. For example it is said that, it is not what is said but how it is...

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