Evaluating Verbal Nonverbal And Barriers To Communication Nursing Essay


Communication is a process and has many aspects to it. Communication is a dynamic process by which information is shared between individuals (Sheldon 2005). This process requires three components (Linear model Appendix figure 1.1), the sender, the receiver and the message (Alder 2003). Communication would not be possible if any of these components are absent. While Peate (2006) has suggested that communication is done every day through a linear process, Spouse (2008) argues that it is not so simple and does not follow such a linear process. He explains that due to messages being sent at the same time through verbal and non- verbal avenues, it is expected the receiver is able to understand the way this is communicated.

Effective communication need’s knowledge of good verbal and non-verbal communication techniques and the possible barriers that may affect good communication. The Nursing and Midwifery council (2008) states that a nurse has effective communication skills before they can register as it’s seen as an essential part of a nurse’s delivery of care. (WAG 2003)

Reflecting on communication in practice will also enforce the theory behind communication and allow a nurse to look at bad and good communication in different situations. This will then enforce the use of good communication techniques in a variety of situations allowing for a more interpersonal and therapeutic nurse patient relationship.

This assignment discusses health care communication and why it is important in nursing by:

Exploring verbal and non-verbal communication and possible barriers

By exploring the fundamentals of care set out by the Welsh assembly and the nurse and midwifery council’s code of conduct a better understanding of the importance of communication is gained.

Reflecting in practice using a scenario from a community posting.


Verbal communication comes in the form of spoken language; it can be formal or informal in its delivery. Verbal Language is one of the main ways in which we communicate and is a good way to gather information through a question (an integral part of communication) and answer process (Berry 2007; Hawkins and Power 1999). Therefore verbal communication in nursing should be seen as a primary process and a powerful tool in the assessment of a patient.

There are two main types of questioning, open-ended questions or closed questions (Stevenson 2004). Open-ended questions tend to warrant more than a one word response and generally start with what, who, where, when, why and how. It invites the patient to talk more around their condition and how they may be feeling and provoke a more detailed assessment to be obtained (Stevenson 2004). The use open-ended questions make the patient feel they have the attention of the nurse and they are being listened too (Grover 2005). It allows for a psychological focus to be given, this feeling of interest in all aspects of the patients care allows for a therapeutic relationship to develop (Dougherty 2008).

Closed questions looks for very specific information about the patient (Dougherty 2008). They are very good at ascertaining factual information in a short space of time (Baillie 2005).

There are two types of closed questions: the focused and the multiple – choice questions. Focused questions tend to acquire information about a particular clinical situation (e.g. asking a patient who is been prescribed Ibuprofen, are you asthmatic?) whereas multiple choice questions tend to be more based on the nurse’s understanding of the condition being assessed. It can be used as a tool to help the patient describe for example the pain they feel e.g. is the pain dull, sharp, throbbing etc (Stevenson 2004).

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