Communicating with patients requires nurses to develop and maintain skills that will lead to effective interactions and nurse-patient relationships. This reflects the importance of developing communication skills that will positively impact interactions with patients and will support an environment in which patient care and treatment are optimized because of these associations. Nurse-patient communication must be effective, two-way, and timely to ensure that patients continue to improve their health and that these interactions strengthen the relationships that exist.

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There must be a greater understanding of the factors which strengthen and weaken nurse-patient communication and how to minimize any weaknesses that exist to preserve these relationships to improve health-related outcomes. Therefore, it is important to identify the different types of communication that exist between nurses and patients and how these interactions support effective patient care and related outcomes for patients who require care and treatment in a variety of settings.

Nurses and patients communicate on many different levels: they communicate verbally in face-to-face situations, over the telephone, and through written orders and plans of care. Furthermore, nonverbal forms of communication are also relevant to these situations and provide opportunities for both parties to express their concerns and respond favorably to different situations. These different forms of communication are critical in understanding how to best convey the importance of the nurse-patient relationship and how it is driven by different circumstances and many contribute to a variety of outcomes. It is important for both sides to express themselves freely within these relationships with the intent to share information that is relevant to both parties. These relationships are likely to be successful when nurses learn how to express themselves in a manner that is sensitive to patient needs and which recognizes the health risks that patients face when they require care and treatment.

Communication between nurses and patients is driven by several factors, both external and internal. These may include gender, culture of origin, languages spoken, age, personal circumstances, and the severity of the health condition, among others. These issues are of critical importance in understanding how to best share information between nurses and patients and how these circumstances may be affected by these factors. Furthermore, factors such as level of knowledge regarding a specific health condition, individual personalities, and other factors may be instrumental in shaping a communication dynamic that may be collaborative and productive or tense and contentious. At the same time, communication has indirect effects on the nurse-patient relationship and may impact other variables in different ways (Street, 2013). This reflects the importance of how to best communicate so that nurses and patients will have productive interactions that are for the greater good of a patient’s health and wellbeing and will positively impact his or her quality of life.

The development of a successful framework for nurse-patient communication requires an effective understanding of the tools and resources that are available to improve communication and to identify any barriers that may limit these conversations. In many instances, patients desire information that is practical, realistic, and which will drive their healthcare decisions moving forward, particularly if they desire information for a chronic disease, for instance (MacDonald et al., 2013). In this context, it is also important not to overwhelm a patient with too much information that may be confusing, contradictory, and ineffective in maintaining the patient’s sense of calm (MacDonald et al., 2013). There must be a greater emphasis on balancing the nurse-patient communication so that there are sufficient opportunities to share knowledge in a productive manner that is not overpowering and does not negatively impact the nurse-patient relationship in different ways (MacDonald et al., 2013).

It is important for nurses to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of communication in developing interactions with patients that are specific and sensitive to their demographics and other characteristics, such as the type of disease and overall health status. The use of evidence-based strategies that build upon existing communication approaches must be considered, and it is also important to acknowledge the difficulties that are associated with communication when one party is not supportive or lacks the desire to communicate effectively. Establishing a communication-based learning curve is integral in these situations and enables nurses and patients to build more effective collaborations that will provide mutual benefits. At the same time, these efforts must demonstrate that nurses not only have the knowledge, but also the skillset that is required to effectively communicate with their patients, along with understanding how to best express themselves so that patients will benefit from these associations in an effective manner (Fakhr-Movahedi, Rahnavard, Salsali, & Negarandeh, 2016).

A successful nurse-patient collaboration requires an effective understanding of the dynamics that are likely to be effective in sharing information that supports both parties. It is important for nurses to effectively communicate with patients to alleviate concerns and demonstrate compassion and empathy during these interactions. Patients are likely to benefit when they receive information from their nurses that is likely to positively impact their health and will support a dynamic that is conducive to improved health and wellbeing. Nurses and patients must freely express themselves and support mutually beneficial relationship that will have positive and lasting benefits for both parties. In addition, they must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the patient’s overall health situation and what steps are required to ensure that their health is likely to improve so that the most feasible options for care and treatment are identified.