The ability to listen closely and articulate ideas effectively
What is it?
Effective communication occurs when one person transmits a message that is accurately understood by those who are listening. To understand what another person is saying is the heart of meaningful dialogue. Once one person understands the message, he or she can respond appropriately. The focus here is on the communication between nurses and physicians and between nurses and patients.
Why is it important?
Communication is the lifeblood of individualized care. Without good communication, it becomes difficult to know what a patient needs, wants, or is feeling. Furthermore, patient care is often a team effort, and medical personnel need to be in constant, coordinated communication. What happens when an attending nurse doesn’t communicate clear expectations and then is upset when an intern doesn’t deliver proper care to the patient? Everyone is frustrated and, worse yet, the task was not completed correctly. Effective communication at the individual and team level is a prerequisite for effective medical practice.