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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Research Paper on Therapeutic Communication in Nursing Care

Research Paper on Therapeutic Communication in Nursing Care

In any relationship, communication is an essential ingredient to keep it healthy. It is a means of sharing our thoughts, a process of exchanging our ideas and a way to express our emotions. Communication comes in various forms. It may be verbal or non-verbal. Although knowing the different forms of communication is important, what matters more is knowing when and how to use it. In the practice of nursing, communication is a craft that must be mastered. After all, nursing is about dealing with people, caring for people, and nurturing each and every individual under their care back to a state of wellness.

The clinical setting fosters a relationship between a nurse and a patient or client. It is where nurses get the chance to use their communication skills and apply therapeutic communication. Rosenberg defined therapeutic communication as holistic and patient-centered, elaborating that it engages the totality of the patient’s condition – environmental, spiritual, psychological, as well as physiological elements. (75) It is important for nurses to use therapeutic communication to achieve the following:
First, to gain the patient’s trust thereby his/her cooperation in the application of his/her care plan. Upon admission or a visit to the hospital, the patient enters an unfamiliar environment. The level of anxiety and stress may be high and through the use of therapeutic communication in the form of a warm welcome or greeting and a smile, the nurse may be able to calm the patient down. Furthermore, in the span of his/her stay in the hospital, the patient will listen to the nurse’s instructions and cooperate with nursing interventions since the nurse has gained his/her trust and has established rapport from the start.

Second, to derive the necessary information from the patient. To be able to properly care for the patient, the nurse needs to collect data from the patient: the patient’s medical history, his/her complaint among other details. Such information can be accurately obtained from the patient. And so to encourage the patient to share his/her personal details, the nurse must be ready and eager to listen, a key component in therapeutic communication.

Third, to encourage the patient to verbalize what he/she is feeling. Health is a very important concern for everyone and when one falls ill, fear of loss or death is part of the package. Expression of one’s worries and emotions is part of the healing process and could be fostered by the nurse when she uses therapeutic communication by showing genuine interest in the patient’s well-being. Using varied therapeutic communication techniques, the nurse can engage the patient in conversations which would allow the patient to vent out his/her feelings.

The points mentioned above are only a part of the many other reasons why the practice of therapeutic communication among nurses is important. Therapeutic communication in nursing care can help heal and comfort the patient, and should thus be applied in any setting where nursing is practiced.

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