A large part of a nursing career involves both verbal and non-verbal transmission of information to the patient and to the medical team and visa versa. When considering this idea of nursing and communicating there is also what is called therapeutic communication in nursing. This involves the human element of appropriate emotions in the nursing arena.Therapeutic Communication in Nursing reinforces the nurse-patient relationship. It makes the nurse appear more humane to a patient. Therapeutic Communication in Nursing can help cut through barriers of culture and gender, establish a connection if there was a breakdown in communication and help deal in a situation where empathy is needed with the patient.
With therapeutic communication in nursing, the patient’s emotional state is considered as well as their feelings. Being sensitive to the needs of a patient and their turmoil is very important. A lot of nurses do not understand this and do not know how to deal effectively with a patient as a result.
For example a patient is angry because they just found out they have cancer? The nurse has to understand the person’s world may have just been shattered. If the person is angry and the nurse says “don’t take it out on me” and flies out of the room, why can’t she say I understand, I would be upset too? What is unprofessional in that statement? In reality nothing and it may get the patient focused to think about how he is going to get help. I remember when my mother was terminally ill and my father was dying of cancer. I am a trained RMA, but the hospice nurse laced into me because I fell behind in a prescription. I cursed at her. She said please do not use that language with me. I responded and told her to get off her high horse, I am doing the best I can as a caregiver of 2 terminal parents with 2 children I am raising at the same time. She also used to throw the prescriptions at me. One day she asked for a pen and I threw it at her the same way. After that she was kinder in her approach. I had to flip the script so she could feel how she behaved, for her to change for the better. After that we became friends.
Therapeutic communication in nursing allows for the patient and family to feel like someone actually cares for him or her in their time of need. This can be fundamental in the recovery or death process of a patient.
In empathetic therapeutic communication in nursing four things have to be considered. One, the nurse needs to look at what the patient is seeing, hearing, feeling and even smelling in the facility he is in. How is all that a stimulus affecting that patient is the second consideration. The third is the patient’s needs being met or not? The last is what does the patient require to have his needs met? And finally is there anything you can do to help this patient get his needs met.
Kindness does not overstep the boundaries of professionalism. To treat someone with sensitivity that may have just lost a love one does not detract from ones professional decorum. The trick is to do it in such a way that leaves both parties intact to do what needs to be done. When a nurse masters the technique of therapeutic communication in nursing she is able to be caring, sensitive and still a professional. Many people unfortunately don’t understand that feelings do not mean that you are not a professional. First and foremost you are human and if you don’t have those characteristics you have a problem I would think in a field where human interaction is a constant given. The patient should feel like they are in good caring hands no matter what.