You are on page 1of 8


Verbal Communication Practices

Alyssa Folse

Louisiana State University

Authors Note

This paper was prepared for English 2001 with professor Jean Coco. It

contains an essay about verbal communication in the nursing field.


First year nursing students that want to be the best they can be at their job

by learning how to effectively communicate.

I would rate my focus a 2+ because I think it is clear I am talking about oral
communication in the essay. I would rate myself a 3- in organization because I use
subtitles to separate the sections of my paper. Development would be a 2 because I
used a script and a picture but I think I need to do more research on my last section.
AAV would be a 2- because I am just getting my ideas down and not really
formulating my sentences well. I believe my first section is very strong because I
could elaborate a lot on it. My last section could also be strong with more research
because it is different and I dont think anyone will have that on their paper.
My first concern would be how to make my last section stronger. My second
would be how to elaborate more on nurse to doctor communication. And my third
would be should I take out my last section and just write something about helpful
tips or something about improving the communication.

Verbal Communication Practices


As a nurse, one must learn to deal with many problems at one time and

having great communication skills will make these problems easier to deal with.

Communication can be categorized into four categories: oral, nonverbal, visual and

written. While they are all extremely important I believe, oral communication can be

the most crucial in the work force because it affects all areas of nursing.


In nursing, oral communication can be split into many different categories.

Some include nurse to patients, nurse to doctor, nurse to family, nurse to nurse,

nurse to other medical professional and even nurse to social workers. In each type,

a good nurse will communicate effectively and personally with whoever they are

speaking to.


In the nursing world, I believe the most important aspect of oral

communication is effective communication. Effective communication consists of

listening, acknowledging the patient, speaking with clarity, and repeating. Well

defined listening skills promote interactive communication, that allows all sides to

be heard. says to, Be deliberate with your listening and remind

yourself frequently that your goal is to truly hear what the other person is saying.

Set aside all other thoughts and behaviors and concentrate on the message

(RNtoBSN). Listening before acting allows for a better focus on the patient and other

medical staff. Along with listening comes acknowledgment. When you listen to your

peers you should make them feel as though they are the center of your attention

and have an unhurried attitude. When you acknowledge what someone says you

should respond in a respectful tone and ensure them you will do your best to fix a

situation or to make them more comfortable. A good nurse should acknowledge

what a patient is saying or even showing and try to understand fully the extent of

their pain or issue. When addressing these issues with a patient or peer, a good

nurse would state a specific goal or objective so everyone is clear on what is trying

to be accomplished. Speaking at a patients level of understanding helps get across

a clear understanding of a procedure or course of action. A nurse must choose their

words carefully and speak effectively so no one is offended or misunderstood.

Lastly, repetition is one of the most important factors in effective communication.

When a nurse explains to a patient how to give an insulin shot they should say the

directions more than once and they should also have the patient repeat how to give

the shot. Once the patient can show the nurse that they can take care of

themselves, the nurse then knows they have done their job.


While many people believe a nurses communication skills are used with just

patients, they are actually used in a variety of ways. A nurse can be speaking to a

patient, the patients family, a doctor, another nurse, other medical professionals

and even people with no experience in the medical field like social workers. When a

nurse speaks to a patient and their family they are forced to speak on their level of

understanding. If that nurse spoke the same way they do to a doctor or other nurse,

then the family would be confused and the nurse will receive uninformed consent. A

patient has the right to know what is being done and it is a nurses job to explain

until they understand. Nurses can also use scripts when speaking to patients,

especially if the concept is hard to explain. A study done in southern United States

at two different hospitals showed that reading a script when conducting pain

management could affect a patients pain level.

The following is the script used by nurses on the intervention unit:

We are going to do everything that we can to help keep your pain under

control. Your pain management is our number 1 priority. Given your

(condition, history, diagnosis, status), we may not be able to keep your

pain level at zero. However, we will work very hard with you to keep you

as comfortable as possible (Alaoul).


The study proved that the scripted communication between patients and nurses

did improve the patients satisfaction. Nurses can also do a satisfactory job when

they dont use a script, but the success of this often comes to the more

experienced. Through time nurses learn how to speak to certain people and can

read other people much easier.


Maslows Hierarchy of Needs is best explained by the U.S Army Medical Department.

They say basic physiological needs have a greater priority over those higher on the

pyramid. They must be met before the person can move on to higher level needs. In

other words, a person who is starving will not be concentrating on building his self-

esteem ( The first level of Abraham Maslows Hierarchy of

needs is physiological. This would-be food, water, sleep oxygen etc.; It is the

necessities to get you through life. Next is safety, which include security, order,

stability, physical safety etc. A nurses job should be satisfying their patients basic

needs. Keeping them feed and hydrated of course, but also making them feel like

they are in a secure safe place. The two lowest levels are the easiest parts for

nurses to accomplish with their patients. Belongingness and love may seem like

they are not part of a nurses duties but they are. Giving the patient approval and

making them feel like they are taking the best course of action when making

decisions they may know nothing about is essential. Esteem needs consist of

recognizing and respecting everything they are saying which is essential when

working with difficult patients. It is also important when working with patients in

long term care because the patient needs to feel a sense of accomplishment and

confidence. The highest level can only be achieved by the individual but I do believe

when a person is sick they need these things to truly become healthy again.


One of the biggest obstacles a nurse will face in her career will be linguistic barriers.

As a nurse you wont only help English speaking people, but Spanish, French, Arabic

etc. With the language barrier often comes religious and cultural differences.

Although you may know the best course of action for a patient, if their religion

doesnt allow it you cannot do it. Nurses should never make assumptions about

patients or their families, but simply use their medical training to provide the

highest level of treatment and care at all times without lending credence to

uninformed beliefs about medicine and healthcare (RNtoBSN). I believe cultural

sensitivity is a skill all health professionals should have especially with the cultural

diversity in the United States today.



1.07 Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. (n.d.). Retrieved March 08, 2017, from

Oral Communication & Emotional Intelligence (EQ). (2016, October 10). Retrieved

February 22, 2017, from


Shibboleth Authentication Request. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2017, from