Importance of a Therapeutic Relationship in Nursing

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Therapeutic relationship is an essential part of nursing; it is the foundation of nursing (CNO, 2009). The National Competency Standard for Registered Nurses state that nurses are responsible for “establishing, sustaining and concluding professional relationship with individuals/groups.” Throughout this essay the importance of forming a therapeutic relationships will be explained. The process of building a therapeutic relationship begins from prior to time of contact with a patient, the interpersonal skills of the nurse; then the process includes skills required by the nurse to communicate effectively, including respect, trust, non-judgment and empathy. The way to portray these skills can be via verbal or non-verbal cues that are important to understand how they influence a person. The process and skills listed below are all relevant to nurses working in the contemporary hospital environment today.

Interpersonal skills are the life skills we use every day to communicate and interact with people. “To effectively communicate we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding to guide to our communication with others.” (Anthony Robbin). It is important for the nurse to be aware of the effects of their personal values and beliefs can have on their patients. For example working in a surgical ward a nurse was discussing with other colleagues about a certain patient who was in the holding bay, talking negatively about her lifestyle choices, when approaching the patient for the first time when arriving into the suite, she refused treatment from any of the nurse staff on the shift as she was upset at the things the nurse had said. First impressions influence people’s judgments of others...

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...ning a therapeutic relationship. Paraphrasing includes repeating the content that has been expressed in a different way, this method can provide the client of feeling important and recognized. Reflection of feelings/content involves identifying the feelings and/or content in what has been said (highlighting the key aspects of the story), again this method encourages for the patients to be validated and heard.

The relationship between the person seeking help and the nurse/counsellor should be appropriate for producing therapeutic change, to ensure that the patient maximizes from the therapeutic relationship. The health care provider should ensure that they communicate effectively to the patient/client. The skills explained in the above essay are the relevant skills that nurses in the contemporary hospital environment should adhere to and respect.
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