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What is the Important Tool in Nursing ?

Answer :


Communication is a very important tool in nursing. It can be used by the healthcare providers to bridge the gap between them and the patient as it can be relied upon to seek for clarifications and provide feedback as far as service provision is concerned. In this case study, there is a face-to-face communication between a Registered Nurse (RN) and teenager being admitted to the hospital for a surgery. The communication was properly done because it involved the use of listening, asking questions, facial expressions, and tonal variations. The paper presents a candid analysis of the effectiveness of the RN in using communication strategies while interviewing the patient. It does this by applying the Six Stages of Gibbs Reflective Cycle.  

The use of Communication Strategies by the RN

When communicating with the patient, the RN decided to use listening, clarifications, facial expression, and tonal variation as the preferred strategies of communication. The use of these verbal and non-verbal cues made it much easier for the RN to effectively communicate with the patient. There is feeling that the use of these strategies made RN and the patient to feel fulfilled and happy. For example, the use of questioning technique enabled the RN to seek for all the answers from the patient (Braithwaite & Schrodt, 2014). At the same time, the application of critical listening skills enabled the patient to feel contented because he developed a feeling of respect.


Evaluation and Analysis        

After keenly watching the interview, it was realized that the RN is a good listener. The interaction between the two demonstrates a proper knowledge and use of listening skills. The RN took all the necessary measures to ensure that patient was given enough time to talk without any unnecessary interruptions (Craig, 2013). It was a good thing to do because it enabled the two parties to properly understand one another. The other important attribute of the interviewer is an effective use of questioning skills. The RN knew that an interview is a question-answer session. So apart from critically listening to the patient, the RN ensured that exhaustive clarifications were sought. This was accomplished by asking relevant, flowing, and properly coordinated questions (Knapp, Vangelisti & Caughlin, 2014). The application of the questioning technique made it quite easier for the patient to answer all the questions.             

The RN succeeded in using the non-verbal cue of facial expression. A good communicator is one who combines verbal and non-verbal cues. When interviewing the patient, the RN took the necessary steps to use both the verbal and non-verbal communication skills. A well-coordinate periodical movement of the face, hands, and the body made it quite interesting to communicate with the patient. The way in which the non-verbal cues were used in the communication made it much easier for the RN to captivate the attention of the patient by making the interview session much interactive right from the beginning up to the very end. The same attribute can be given to the use of tone (Dawson, Bernstein, Wilkins & Bekki, 2015). It was observed that the RN succeeded in using the tone that could be changed from time to time to suit the changing situations. The use of tonal variation made the interview process to be suitable for every context. The changing of tones in response to scenario being addressed made the interview to be a success.

Despite all the successes in the application of these verbal and non-verbal strategies, the communication process was not perfect. It had certain weaknesses that could still be rectified. The first negative aspect of the interview is that it did not involve a proper use of the eye contact, honesty, empathy, use of gracious words, and smiling techniques. Failure to utilize these strategies hindered the RN from establishing a good rapport with the patient and fully exploiting the available chances of engaging the patient (Bylund, Peterson & Cameron, 2012). For example, inadequate direct eye contact between the RN and the patient hindered a rigorous and friendly interview that was to be conducted.

 Action Plan

If given a chance to engage in a similar interview, a lot of things would have to be changed.  Apart from successfully applying the verbal and non-verbal strategies used by the RN, it would be necessary to ensure that the confidence of the patient is won by establishing a good rapport (Arnold & Boggs, 2015). To do this, it is necessary to do a number of things. First, the nurse should be more gracious than the RN. Meaning, he would carefully use gracious words such as ‘thank you, ‘welcome,’ ‘sorry,’ ‘excuse me,’ and many more. Besides, the healthcare provider would ensure that he creates a good and appropriate distance as well as become more courteous in my communication.  


The use of Gibbs Reflective Cycle composing of the descriptions, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, and action plan, has helped in providing an objective reflection of the communication skills used in the interview. The interaction between the RN and the patient was a success. The positive aspect of the interview is that the RN made a proper use of listening, asking questions, facial expressions, and tonal variations. It made it easier to ask questions and know more about the patient. However, the negative aspects of the communication process is that it  did not make a good use of the eye contact, honesty, empathy, use of gracious words, and smiling techniques as expected. These hindered the communication process from accomplishing its ultimate goals.



Arnold, E.C. & Boggs, K.U. (2015). Interpersonal relationships: Professional communication

skills for nurses. new York: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Braithwaite, D.O. & Schrodt, P. eds. (2014). Engaging theories in interpersonal communication:

Multiple perspectives. New York: Sage Publications.

Bylund, C.L., Peterson, E.B. & Cameron, K.A. (2012). A practitioner's guide to interpersonal

communication theory: An overview and exploration of selected theories. Patient

education and counseling, 87(3), pp.261-267.

Craig, R.T. (2013). Constructing theories in communication research. Theories and models of

communication, 1, pp.39-57.

Dawson, A.E., Bernstein, B.L., Wilkins, K. & Bekki, J.M. (2015). Honing interpersonal

communication skills for difficult situations. In 2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference

and Exposition. American Society for Engineering Education.

Knapp, M.L., Vangelisti, A.L. & Caughlin, J.P. (2014). Interpersonal Communication & Human

Relationships. New York: Pearson Higher Ed.

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