Patient-nurse communication as a determinant of recovery

Patient-nurse interaction plays an essential role in the healing process of a patient and determines the outcomes. The nurse in most cases acts as the primary caregiver. He sends and receives instructions from the doctor and passes the information to the patient. He also collects information about the patient. Passing correct information reduces mistakes during nursing practice.

Nurses should consider several issues when communicating with patients. First, they should be open and respectful to their patients. This enhances the trust of the patients and makes it easy to create a rapport between the nurse and the patient. The nurse should also be conversant with the patient’s culture. This will act as an important guide on how to relate with them. Different cultures interpret information differently their verbal and nonverbal cues differ. In some cultures, a lady should not maintain eye contact with a man.

Secondly, the nurse should not use threatening words or give orders to the patient. They should politely explain the process and instructions to the patient using a pleasant tone. Thirdly, the nurse should use simple terms that the patient can easily understand. They should not use medical and technical terms.

Also, the nurse should be clear and give room for questions and clarifications from the patient. They should use appropriate body language and explain facts and processes without covering their mouth and lower face. In cases where the nurse is communicating to a patient through a phone. They should speak clearly through the mouthpiece, identify themselves and where they are from and listen to the message and make notes if necessary.

Nurses should listen to patients without interrupting them. They should show empathy. They should also focus on the conversation and maintain professional discretion. The environment should be conducive to interactions with no distractive noises. In places where the nurse makes statements that are not favorable to the patient. They should apologize or give explanations.

Finally, the nurse should choose the right words and use appropriate body language. They should also identify the barriers of effective communication such as language barrier, perception and conflicts and come up with solutions to help them overcome such barriers. Communication between a nurse and a patient or the patient’s family plays a vital role in the provision of health care. The nurse should practice assertive communication to ensure the provision of quality health care.


Curley, Martha AQ. “Patient-nurse synergy: optimizing patients’ outcomes.” American Journal of Critical Care 7.1 (1998): 64.

Larsson, Inga E., et al. “Patients’ perceptions of nurses’ behavior that influence patient participation in nursing care: a critical incident study.” Nursing research and practice 2011 (2011).

McCabe, Catherine. “Nurse–patient communication: an exploration of patients’ experiences.” Journal of clinical nursing 13.1 (2004): 41-49.

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