Communication in Nursing: A few tips for engaging patients

Communication in Nursing: A few tips for engaging patients  Are you a good communicator? In a nurse’s daily interactions with patients, the ability to communicate in a clear manner is vital. The next time you communicate with a patient, be mindful of these suggestions from NurseZone:

  • Communication goes both ways. Engage patients in a dialogue; help them understand and come to a decision about their treatment options. Patients should feel comfortable asking questions.
  • Respect diversity. Behavior such as eye contact and certain tones of voice vary across cultures. Diversity training can help you better communicate with patients from any background.
  • Be aware of language and literacy barriers. Written instructions are useless to illiterate patients.
  • Don’t use lingo when speaking with patients. Most patients will not understand the acronyms and lingo used by health care professionals – and even worse, some lingo can be misunderstood. An example from the article: a patient overheard a physician discussing him using the acronym “SOB.” The patient didn’t know that “SOB” was short for “shortness of breath.”
  • Try to give patients choice. A patient might feel out of control and vulnerable in a hospital situation, but giving a patient choices can help give them a sense of agency.

For more suggestions, read the full article here.

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