The importance of communication is the essential foundation of nursing practise; it is primarily dependant upon verbal and non-verbal communication. Encompassing both speech and behavioural aspects, efficient delivery and receiving of the nurse-patient messages initiates advantageous relationships, or contrarily, generates significant repercussions if applied ineffectively, thus affecting the quality of the nurse-patient relationship. This essay will discuss how effective verbal and non-verbal communication in nursing practice will facilitate a mutually satisfying therapeutic nurse-patient relationship. It will firstly discuss verbal communication, followed on by the complementary non-verbal communication and lastly listening. However, for communication to succeed properly it must be reciprocal. This work has illustrated some examples of verbal and non-verbal communication.
Verbal communication primarily entails the conscious use of the spoken word, and although accounting for only fifteen percent of all interpersonal communication, is the principal means of expressing factual information in relations between nurse and patient (Ellis, Gates & Kentworthy, 2002).
Whilst verbal communication is an imperative part of building the relationship between nurse and patient it is also just as important between nurse and colleague. A good relationship is vital to quality patient care, clearly both nurse and colleague have the same agenda, to care for the patient, improve and speed up recovery (Boal, Burke, & Mitchell 2004;Gasparis, 2004).Boal, Burke and Mitchell (2004) believe "better communication among providers can be a tremendous boon to older patients and their families; thus, improved nurse-physician communication is not only a remedy for diminished job satisfaction, it is also an elixir for improving patient care". Clearly the use of verbal communication between the nurse and colleagues affects the relationships with patients, yet there are many factors involved in the way verbal communication is expressed.
The effectiveness of this form of communication is however dependant upon several fundamental factors (Stein-Parbury, 1999).