Healthcare Communication in Nursing

Effective communication skills are central to nurses’ relational practice and patient-centred care and as such are important components of nurses’ education. Nursing is a knowledge-based relational discipline that requires nurses to be highly skilled, creative and adaptive communicators within the context of their own and inter-professional practice. There is therefore a critical need to explicate, develop and grow the communication knowledge base that will optimally support nurses’ roles in diverse practice settings and patient contexts.

However, over the past few decades, concern has grown that nurses may not be offered systematic teaching in this subject area with the same dedicated approach that is applied to other professions e.g. medicine. Additionally, while there are multiple overlapping commonalities that can be identified for teaching and practicing communication within an inter-professional context, extrapolating knowledge, models and strategies that inform medical education ignores the particular context of nursing that is bound by varying practice professional scopes and roles. To compound the problem there is, in general, a lack of high quality research concerning how communication skills are taught and assessed and their patient-impact evaluated, within the field of nursing.

The purpose of this Special Interest Group is to encourage global exchange and collaboration among nurse educators/researchers, concerning:

  • current models and strategies of teaching healthcare communication related to a nursing context,
  • evaluating their effectiveness within the context of nursing education, and
  • identifying opportunities and paths to overcome potential challenges within the context of nursing education and practice.

The potential for ongoing and/or collaborative and future educational scholarly activity is desired.

Aims

To foster a community of practice creating connections between nurses from different organisations across the world to enable the development of collective responsibility, sharing learning and information exchange within the context of healthcare communication.

To pursue excellence in teaching and research regarding communication for the benefit of patient care and deliver meaningful outputs that impact on not only patient care but within the profession of nursing.

We will negotiate and agree with our members the processes used to affect the work of this SIG and develop consensus about core objectives and processes of working together.

Plan

In the forthcoming 3 years we aim to:

  1. Develop a platform for nurses who provide healthcare communication education and research either in academic institutions or through clinical practice. Through this network we will facilitate a variety of online communication/interactions and face to face meeting opportunities at conferences.
  2. The core committee will ensure the SIG is promoted broadly among EACH members and relevant networks.
  3. We will keep a database of nurses who provide healthcare communication education and research.
  4. We will periodically survey members to explore how they would like this SIG to evolve.
  5. We will encourage members to upload and share tools on the video and tools database using the HPCCC criteria and in time establish a database of tools and resources specifically related to nursing contexts.
  6. We will work with tEACH and the Healthcare Communication Education Research SIG to promote interprofessional as well as nursing research projects/collaborations in this field of work.
  7. The core committee will monitor the aims and progress of this SIG at least quarterly in the first year to help it flourish.

We will report back to the tEACH committee at the bi-annual meetings and when asked to provide further updates.

Officers

Co-chair: Patricia Strachan
McMaster University
strachan@mcmaster.ca

Co-chair: Annegrethe Nielsen
Member of tEACH
Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing, University College Copenhagen
agni@kp.dk

Dr Lynn Furber
Member of tEACH committee and Director, Healthcare Communication Matters
lfurber@healthcarecommunicationmatters.co.uk

Sandra Winterburn
Co-chair tEACH
Associate Professor / Consultation Skills Lead, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich
s.winterburn@uea.ac.uk

Dr Pearman Parker
Clinical Instructor, College of Nursing University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
pparker@uams.edu