Communication Strategies in the Clinical Setting

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One of the most important aspects in the nursing profession is the need for good and effective communication. This is because good communication skills especially in the nurse-patient relationship have a significant impact on patient safety and recovery. Effective communication skills in the clinical setting are critical for the development of nurse-patient relationship and provision of health care information (Bruderle, 2003). Nurses usually exchange information with physicians, patients, colleagues and other people in the clinical setting. This communication is usually done through a variety of levels and ways, which determine whether it’s effective or not. Due to the importance of communication in the nursing profession and clinical setting, there is a range of different communication strategies including:

General Communication Strategy:

The general communication strategies involve conversation and elaboration, active listening, mutual understanding, and allowing patients to share their thoughts and feelings. One of the most critical aspects of the general communication strategies is active listening and acknowledging patients’ feelings and thoughts. This strategy usually occurs in a social or structured environment where nurses are able to know patients as unique individuals. The strategy also involves the use of both verbal and non-verbal communication ways.

Through the use of verbal communication ways, nurses communicate clearly and with a good tone that helps patients to understand them. For this communication to be effective, nurses wait for a patient’s response once they have communicated clearly. Verbal communication means are mostly used in conversation and elaboration where nurses may make broad open...

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... a patient. This requirement is usually stipulated in the national standard of care in the nursing profession, which is the degree of competency, care and judgment in conducting the nursing function. However, the duty of care does not necessarily require nurses to provide optimal care or have extraordinary skills (“Legal Issues in Nursing”, n.d.). Failure to comply with the required regulations regarding informed consent and duty of care may lead to nurses being sued for incompetence, negligence or illegal conduct.


As nurses communicate with patients and colleagues in various levels and ways, there is a range of different communication strategies including general and therapeutic ones. Documentation, informed consent, confidentiality, open disclosure and duty of care are aspects that determine communication strategies between nurses and patients.

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