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Therapeutic Communication: Rich Interaction By The Exchange Of The Messages


Task: Conduct an exclusive analysis of the therapeutic communication.


Every human being implies the concept of communication in his daily life. In the process of communication, the transfer of message from the sender to the receiver takes place. An interaction via messages and associated emotions would take place between the sender and the receiver in an effective communication. As per the observation of a British communicology expert, Hargie, communication is a multifaceted process that is carried out by the engaged parties through verbal and non-verbal messages.

The present field of modern health care has become more task-oriented by installing well-developed technologies in its diagnostic systems. The modern medical field is installed with renewed measure of communication techniques to trace the symptoms effectively which helps the speedy diagnosis of the patient. The modern nursing discipline has become multifaceted by the introduction of various code of behavior to be followed before the patients. The profession of nursing is now not evaluated merely on the parameter of medical knowledge. The professional nursing majorly deals with the establishment of high-quality interpersonal relationships with the patients.

The effective implication of social roles in the medical institute would empower the nurses to improve the level of communication performance with their patients. The situations which requires the problem-solving reasoning ability, management abilities, medical interventions, etc. could be countered by the effective implementation of the communication skills. The major aim of mastering the communication skills is to conduct both verbal and nonverbal communication in a very effective manner. The implication of therapeutic communication in the discipline of nursing would ensure a mutual relationship with patient, which constitutes to be the backbone of medical treatment. The concepts of understanding, feelings, compassion, and support are the backbone of nursing discipline.

The concept of the therapeutic communication also discusses the factors that hinders the nurses from implying humanitarian approach in their profession. The degree attained by just learning the medical facts would not turn a person into a good nurse. The person should possess humanitarian qualities like sympathy, empathy, compassion, etc. to be a good nurse, which could be attained by mastering the concepts of therapeutic communication. Though the formal education is very necessary in the medical field for the nurses, it is the moral principles entailed in the therapeutic communications that provide them with the appropriate methodology to conduct the nursing interventions.

Apart from being just an academic theory, therapeutic communication is a skill that could be mastered by the proper implication in the practical environment. The concept of therapeutic communication is a separate faction of medical science and is one of the decisive factors in the recovery of patients. The anti-therapeutic condition would arise if the therapeutic concepts are not implied by the medical officials in an accurate way. The mode of interaction with the patients by them should be neutral if the medical officials lack effective therapeutic communication skills. The negative thought process generating in the patient during the treatment could be easily mitigated by the implication of the therapeutic communication theories.

The therapeutic communication deals with the process in which the patients are being aided in their treatment by the means of verbal and nonverbal communication by the nursing staff. In simple words, it is the approach by which the nursing faculties encourage the patients to reveal their concerns.

The whole approach of therapeutic communication is based on laying down a mutual trustworthy relationship with the patient. To understand the thought process of the patients during treatment, the nursing staff is required to establish a cooperative bond with the patients. the nursing trainees should adopt the approach of empathy, compassion, and support towards the patient for the effective implication of the therapeutic communication.

Scope of therapeutic communication in the field of health care
The concept of therapeutic communication would provide a moral foundation for the nursing profession in health care institutes. The nurses are provided with the responsibility of protecting the patients in the health care institutes. The fact that the nurses are not allowed to take independent medical interventions without the reference of doctors, increases the significance of the therapeutic communication. The patients would undergo a lot of difficulties if the nursing team lacks the moral ground and which would affect even the existence of the organization in future.

The faculties and the nurses of the health care institutes should master the theories of the therapeutic communication so that the patients would be provided with effective treatment. The whole treatment would become a pleasant experience only if a trustworthy relationship is maintained in between the patients and nurses. The trust of the patients could only be gained by the practice of empathetical approach, self-awareness, and correct implementation of medical and nursing interventions. The person who is pursuing the occupation of nursing would face challenges in implying meaningful and quality communication with the patients and coworkers throughout the career. The relationship quality maintained with patients in a health care institute would depend on the degree of knowledge possessed by its nursing staff. Carrying nursing profession by following the therapeutic communication would also generate a feeling of satisfaction among the nurses.

By the implication of therapeutic communication, the person working as the nursing staff could attain higher satisfaction level. To imply the therapeutic communication, nurses need to possess a special set of skills that are listed in the below section of this report.

  • The person should have the ability to view the patient from the perspective of sympathy and empathy. A nurse should engage with the patient on a higher emotional level.
  • The mental preparedness should be there to be available at each call of the patient and should spend a substantial period for them.
  • Skills to build a very trustworthy relation by the strong implication of advanced communication techniques. This would create a sense of security among the patients who are under treatment in the healthcare center.
  • To reduce the total reliance of patients on medical professionals, a cooperative approach should be taken. If the patient is a little bit independent at the time of treatment, it would release much of the stress from the nurse staff.
  • The high display of professionalism in their career would sometimes become a barrier for the nursing staff in engaging with the patients.
  • The person should have a unique and innovative approach towards handling the patients and should develop their method for career brilliance.
  • The person pursuing his career as a nurse should have the proper ethical sense so that proper scientific and professional approach should be maintained in his career.

The major ideologies and theories in the discipline of nursing is based on the psychological aspects of human behavior. This would aid the nursing staffs in retrospection and conducting analysis of the experience they had gone through. The observations made in retrospection process would be recorded for the future references. It is by referring to the reflections on the experience, the nursing officials have gone through in health care institutes that most of the concepts in nursing are derived.

The concepts regarding interpersonal relationships and therapeutic communication hold a great significance in the nursing profession. Nursing should be considered as an art of healing when carried out before the suffering patients. It has been opined by Peplau in 2007 that the duty of nursing is a form of interpersonal process. The interpersonal process constitutes to be one of the major divisions of the therapeutic communication theories. If the nurse possesses very good communication skills, they could imply therapeutic communication in a very effective manner. The major motive for this is to increase the level of cooperation between the patient and nurse to such a level that the patient would reduce the total reliance on the treatment. This move would encourage the patients to make a significant contribution to their own treatment. Hence the nurses could understand the specific needs and difficulties of the patients, facilitating the communication of important information to the seniors. This would help the medical team in arriving at accurate medical observations.

The positive results in healing could be attained immediately only by the optimistic and cordial approach of the nurses towards their patients. The scholars like Halter and Carson (2010) also have commented on the view of Peplau that the role and responsibility of nurses to cure the patient is very significant and it is based on their performance that the quality of the treatment provided by a health care institution is analyzed. A nurse should be socially aware and should have the skill to build very strong interpersonal skills. The quality performance could be delivered by the nursing staff only if they scrutinize the behavior of patients on a diligent basis. If the nursing team lacks in the skill of self-alertness, it would be very difficult for them to observe and note down the difficulties of patients. A healthy discussion with the patient could only be conducted if a cordial approach is taken by the medical team. The systematic approach of building up a strong interpersonal relationship with the patient by using the therapeutic communication consists of the below-mentioned steps.

  • Orientation: Orientation is the first stage in the building up of an interpersonal relationship with the patient. This step involves the mutual introduction between both the patients and the medical team. (Nurses should have the previous knowledge of medical history of the concerned patients). The nurse should observe the present difficulties of the patients. In this situation, the nurses should display excellent communication skills. The relevant information should be passed to the higher officials so that further medical interventions should be taken.
  • Identification: The nursing team is expected to analyze the symptoms mentioned by the patient and a proper diagnosis of the present medical condition is done in this stage. The observations should only be taken as primary inferences. Further treatment should only be initiated after the observations are ratified by the seniors. In the second stage of identification process, the patients would get much familiar with their surroundings and more relevant data could be collected from them in this period. The nurses should try to generate positive thinking among the patients in this stage that make patient independent from medical treatment.
  • Organizing: This stage of organizing is very important in the development of interpersonal relationship among patients and the medical team. The nurses are expected to maintain a balance by relying on the medical treatment. To bring the patients to their optimal health an integrated effort should be endorsed from all the departments of the medical team. It should be noted that the concept of making the patient independent, doesn't require the patient to negate the help of the medical personnel entirely.
  • Termination: By the stage of termination, the patient becomes independent from the help of the medical team. The medical team should terminate the relationship with the patient in this stage so that their focus should be diverted to other patients. The dependency of the patient is gradually reduced step by step and the total independent stage would only be attained in the last stage of termination.

The nursing staff should be aware of the social environment and should have well knowledge of the therapeutic communication to carry out the stages mentioned in the above section very effectively. The concepts of therapeutic communication are very important in conducting quality communication. This quality communication would help in decreasing anxiety among the patients.

Let us take an instance where a male patient was admitted to the health care institute because of urine retention. The major symptom in the patient was a strong abdominal pain. The medical team has suggested the patient to undergo the treatment of catheterization so that the accumulation of urine could be reduced. The patient had displayed strong disapproval against it and enquired for a strong medication dose which could be opted as an alternative. The patient was critical since the pain kept increasing along with the deterioration of biological condition. In this situation, the nurses could imply the concepts of therapeutic communication for developing the interpersonal relationship. A very amiable and calm approach should be adopted towards the patient to understand the reason behind rejecting the proposed medical treatment of catheterization.

The physical gestures like touching hand and caressing come under the effective portrayal of non-verbal communication. Such approaches would be very effective and efficient in the similar situations. The approach should be taken by the medical team before acquiring the permission of the patients. They should be made aware about their medical condition and ensure them the readiness to propose any substitute method to alleviate the current pain. The nurses with similar gender should be allotted for male patients. Communication gap may happen in between patients and medical team while mentioning the biological condition in the urinary tract. If the nurse of the same gender would approach them, it is most probable that they would reveal their concerns. Hence, the patient would be helped in a better way by communicating him with a higher degree of interpersonal skills. In many cases, it has been observed that male patients don’t want their private parts to be exposed in front of the female nurses and thus always opt for alternative options which would avoid them from further embarrassment.

It is only by the implication of the therapeutic communication that the extraction of the relevant information from the patient is made possible in similar conditions. When all the data required for the plan of care is gathered by the nursing staff, they are provided with the task to arrive at accurate medical interventions. It is the nursing staff that is majorly responsible for the biological healing of the patient in the health care centers. The requirement of the patients should be given primary preference. If available only a male nurse should be allotted for the process of catheterizes. Maintaining a professional approach by implying effective communication would turn out beneficial for both the patient and the healthcare institute.

In the modern nursing profession, the skill of therapeutic communication is considered to be a very necessary one. Having technical and medical knowledge is now only considered as a secondary parameter for the selection of nursing staff. The attitude of the candidate for the job of nursing should be very positive. They should tolerant towards the requirements and suggestions of the patients. Many scholars have observed that the implication of the therapeutic communications theories is bringing expected results since the patients feel much more confident in expressing their problems to the nursing staff. If patients are not comfortable in the medical environment, then the desired healing results would not be obtained after the treatment. So far there are not so many critics for the implication of the therapeutic communication theories in the health sector. If there exists a communication barrier in between the patients and the medical team, then the relevant data for the treatment would remain unnoticed.

Let us take another example of a patient who is suffering from the lack of hemoglobin which is also termed as anemia. When the patient was admitted to the health care institute, she was strongly advised by her doctor to undergo blood transfusion. If the patient is made aware of the possible setbacks of not taking the medical precautions, chances are that they would get panicked of the situation.

If the nursing staff which implying the theories of therapeutic communication is of the opposite gender, chances would be high that the patient feel embarrassed or insulted about it. The factor gender should be cross-checked before implying the therapeutic communication strategies in the similar situations.

The nursing team should maintain the appropriate style of communication, since the lack of it sometimes triggers dissatisfaction among patients. The use of physical interactions like holding hands and speaking calmly would help the staff in establishing an intrapersonal relationship with the patient.

Hildegard Peplau's theory could be utilized by the medical team to understand the reason behind refusing medical treatment. Most of the patients are concerned whether they would get any communicable disease by undergoing blood transfusion process. The nurses are required to provide the patients with knowledge regarding precautionary methods they have taken to avoid the transfer of any disease in the treatment. The patients should not hold any confusion regarding the treatment. While doing this process, the nurse should possess very good communication skills. The communication gap in this stage is very dangerous. The patient would go forward in developing an intrapersonal relationship only if the medical team has a calm attitude.

For the implication of therapeutic communication, the normal listening skill would not be sufficient and thus nurses are required to exhibit active listening skills. The active listening could only be attained by the self-discipline and having a better understanding of the personal surroundings. The knowledge of the personal surrounding would help in casting away the external and internal disturbances in society.

In conclusion, the interaction is the transfer of both verbal and non-verbal messages in between two or more parties. The effective implication of therapeutic communication would relieve the patients since they perceive it much safer to convey their message to a familiar person. In the present nursing discipline, the implication of therapeutic communication holds large significance. The concerns of the patients should be given higher preference by the nurses. If the nursing staff lacks the communication skills, they medical team has to face some barriers in carrying out diagnosis and treatment.

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