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For individuals outside of the medical occupation, a hospital or physician's workplace will be an intimidating place. The job of treating patient feel comforted and cared for sometimes falls on the shoulders of the nurses. To greatest meet the wants of a patient, nurses should be taught the rules of therapeutic communication, which is outlined as communication methods that help the patient’s feeling of health.

Therapeutic Communication, Nursing, Nurse


Therapeutic communication, briefly, is an interaction between a nurse and a patient that helps advance the bodily and emotional well-being of the patient.

The nurse benefits from therapeutic communication as well. Such interactions help the nurse establish rapport with the patient, understand where the patient is coming from, exchange valuable information, and come up with individualized health-care intervention strategies that benefit the patient. A nurse who practices effective therapeutic communication also benefits from the knowledge that they helped someone in need as a result.

Therapeutic communication relies on two types of communication: verbal and nonverbal. Let's go over some examples of each.

Listening, Touch, & Space

A critical component of therapeutic communication is the art of active listening. Active listening involves both nonverbal and verbal communication. When actively listening, a nurse needs to hear and understand what the client is saying. That is, to some extent, the easy part. What's even more important is that the nurse properly interprets the meaning behind what the patient is verbalizing. In other words, what is the patient really saying?

Active listening involves verbal communication, such as when a nurse paraphrases what the client has said. It also includes non-verbal types of communication, such as good eye contact that is neither absent nor prolonged, as well as silence. An example of silence in active listening would be giving a patient some time to think through their thoughts if you believe they need it.

Another kind of nonverbal therapeutic communication technique is touch. This can give the patient the sense that you care for them. However, you must be careful with this. It's important you are culturally aware as you engage in therapeutic communication with your patient. For instance, in some cultures, touch between strangers of opposite genders is strictly frowned upon.

Similarly, another important nonverbal communication technique is that of personal space. Different cultures and individual people will respond in various ways to space between themselves and a nurse. For some, it's important the nurse is physically close to them. For others, the old saying 'too close for comfort' rings true.

Talking, Privacy, & Confidentiality

Communication is difficult without talking. Of course, the right words and manner of speech are critical to therapeutic communication. For instance, a nurse must be careful in choosing the words he or she uses. A lot of people do not understand complex medical terms nor the wider implications behind them on their health.

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