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Essay title: Communication

During week 2 we discussed some very important concepts pertaining to the

nurse-client relationship. Three concepts that caught my attention the most were

communication, active listening, and open-ended questions. To be effective in the nursing

field you need to have excellent skills in these three areas.

“Communication is a complex composite of verbal and non-verbal behaviors

integrated for the purpose of sharing information” (Arnold, 2003, p. 217).

Communication is essential in the nursing profession. Without communication it is

difficult to obtain important and accurate information to assess the patient’s condition.

Communication can be given in two different ways verbally and non-verbally but in

order to be effective these two concepts must match.

During class Professor Schwecke gave examples of situations that could arise

where patients give you mixed communication signals. One particular situation

involved a patient getting ready to have major surgery. The nurse enters the room and

sees that something is bothering the patient. When asking the patient what is wrong he

says he is not scared about surgery but his facial expressions gave an opposite signal. To

address the issue with the patient the nurse sits down beside him and says its seems like

there is something bothering you. Do you have an questions or concerns about the

surgery? By doing this the nurse lets the patient know that she sees there is something

wrong but gives the patient the opportunity to confide in her.

Communication is not only essential for gathering important information but also

for the nurse-client relationship. Non-verbal communication can be easily read on a

person’s face or through body posture or movements so this communication is more than

likely what they really mean, if it’s different from verbal. When verbal and non-verbal

communication does not match then the nurse must take it upon herself to figure out what

the patient is really trying to say.

“Active listening is defined as a participatory process in which the nurse listens

not only for facts but also for the underlying meaning of the communication with its

attached values, attitudes, and feelings” (Arnold, 2003, p. 235). I believe active listening

is listening closely to what the patient is saying and then interpreting to the patients what

you believe they meant to say. This helps in the process of getting you and the patient on

the same page. It is very important for you, as a nurse, to understand what the patient’s

wants and needs are.

Active listening was displayed and discussed during week 2 but it is also is

performed during every class meeting. Each week Professor Schwecke directs the class

meetings by not just giving us information but by asking us questions and actively

listening to our questions and comments. The active listening helps not only Prof.

Schwecke understand where the class stand in comprehending the concepts appropriately

but also helps the class feel that it is appropriate to ask questions if they do not

understand. It also makes students feel comfortable to make comments that go along with

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