Communication is a vital component of the nursing role and is essential for the delivery of successful, quality healthcare. Good interpersonal communication increases the accuracy of information shared between nurse and patient and can amplify elements that are crucial in achieving positive health outcomes.
Effective and open communication is a key factor when liaising with a multidisciplinary team and can result in a collaborative and collegial approach to patient care.
Health literacy needs to be considered when communicating with patients. Knowledge of how to ensure patients understand basic health information will enable the delivery of information that is appropriate, effective and tailored to the individual’s needs.
In this chapter, the practical skills required to facilitate good communication will be reviewed and common barriers to communication explored, along with how to maintain effective communication via telephone and electronic mail. Communicating effectively within a professional capacity will also be discussed.
The importance of health literacy and the impact it has on communication with the patient will be highlighted and practical ways of providing information and education to patients explored.
KeywordsCommunication skills Barriers to communication Health literacy
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