Effective communication need’s knowledge of good verbal and non-verbal communication techniques and the possible barriers that may affect good communication. The nurse should has effective communication skills before they can register as it’s seen as an essential part of a nurse’s delivery of care.
Reflecting on communication in practice will also enforce the theory behind communication and allow a nurse to look at bad and good communication in different situations. This will then enforce the use of good communication techniques in a variety of situations allowing for a more interpersonal and therapeutic nurse patient relationship.
Verbal communication comes in the form of spoken language; it can be formal or informal in its delivery. Verbal Language is one of the main ways in which we communicate and is a good way to gather information through a question (an integral part of communication) and answer process. Therefore verbal communication in nursing should be seen as a primary process and a powerful tool in the assessment of a patient.
There are two main types of questioning, open-ended questions or closed questions. Open-ended questions tend to warrant more than a one word response and generally start with what, who, where, when, why and how. It invites the patient to talk more around their condition and how they may be feeling and provoke a more detailed assessment to be obtained. The use open-ended questions make the patient feel they have the attention of the nurse and they are being listened too. It allows for a psychological focus to be given.
Closed questions looks for very specific information about the patient. They are very good at ascertaining factual information in a short space of time.
For verbal communication to be effective, good listening skills are essential. Sharing information, concerns and feelings becomes difficult, if the person being spoken to doesn’t look interested. Good active listening can lead to a better understanding of the patients most recent health issues. Poor listening could be as a result of message overload, physical noise, poor effort and psychological noise. Therefore being prepared to listen and putting the effort and time are essential in a nurse’s role.
This type of communication does not involve spoken language and can sometimes be more effective than words that are spoken. About 60 – 65 per cent of communication between people is through non - verbal behaviours and that these behaviours can give clues to feelings and emotions the patient may be experiencing (Foley 2010, p. 38). Non-verbal communication adds depth to speech; to re affirm verbal communication; to control the flow of communication; to convey emotions; to help define relationships and a way of giving feedback. The integration between verbal language and paralanguage (vocal), can affect communication received (Spouse 2008)
Berry (2007, pg18) highlights the depth of verbal language due to the use of paralinguistic language. The way we ask a question, the tone, and pitch, volume and speed all have an integral part to play in non - verbal communication. In his opinion, personality is shown in the way that paralanguage is used as well as adding depth of meaning in the presentation of the message been communicated.
Foley (2010) identifies studies where language has no real prevalence in getting across emotional feelings, in the majority of cases the person