Fundamental Communication Skills in Nursing


Essay question

• Drawing on the material presented in this module, you are required to write an essay entitled: ‘What are the skills required for effective communication with people?’

Your essay should:

• Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of effective communication by focusing on two elements of communication (for example, self-awareness, core qualities, proxemics, kinesics-Body language, paralanguage and language)

• Demonstrate an increasing level of self-awareness and empathy.

• Critically analyse the main barriers to effective communication.

• Be clearly structured with the appropriate use of grammar, language and terminology

• Demonstrate broad reading within the subject area and use appropriately referenced source material to support your work in accordance with department guidelines.

· NB: in your introduction you need to set the scene by telling the marker which two elements of communication you going to talk about. Define each aspect and engage in critical analysis on the usefulness or arguments against using these aspects in nursing field. Demonstrate how you use empathy through two aspects you have chosen. Consider Johari Window and how you might develop self-awareness through feedback.

Module aims

This module will enable students to explore in detail the concept of effective interpersonal communication. Students will identify, practice and apply a range of communication skills. Throughout this module students will explore and develop personal and professional communication strategies that will enable them to develop helpful, caring relationships. Effective communication is essential in all areas of healthcare and in fundamental in providing compassionate person-centred care.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module, students will be able to:

Describe the key principles of effective communication and demonstrate the ability to self-assess when applying those principles.
Identify the main barriers to effective communication.
Differentiate between informal conversation and skilled communication.
Demonstrate the use of the micro-skills that are essential in the initiation and development of therapeutic communication and development of empathy and compassion.
Outline the theoretical concepts that underpin effective communication and their significance in care delivery across all fields of practice.

Key texts

· Arnold, E. and Boggs, K.U. (2015). Interpersonal relationships: professional communication skills for nurses. 7th edn. St Louis: Saunders.

· Balzer-Riley, J. (2012). Communication in nursing. 7th edn. St Louis: Mosby.

· Burnard, P. and Gill, P. (2008). Culture, communication and nursing. Harlow: Pearson Education.

· Edwards, M. (2010). Communication skills for nurses: a practical guide on how to achieve successful consultations. London: Quay.

· Hargie, O. (2011). Skilled interpersonal communication: research, theory and practice. 5th edn. London: Routledge.

· McCabe, C. and Timmins, F. (2006). Communication skills for nursing practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

· Pilnick, A., Hindmarsh, J., and Gill, V.A. (Eds.). (2010). Communication in healthcare settings: policy participation and new technologies. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

· Samovar, L.A., Porter, R.E., and McDaniel, E.R. (2010). Communication between cultures. 7th edn. London: Wadsworth.

Key Contemporary Drivers in Healthcare and Nursing Education.

· Age UK and the Fabian Society, edited by Andy Burnham MP (2013). Together: A Vision of Whole-Person Care for a 21st Century Health and Care Service. Available at: http://www. [accessed 18 Feb 2015].

· Francis, R. (2013). The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry. Available at: http://www.midstaffspublicinquiry. com/ (accessed 18 Feb 2015)

· Francis, R. (2015). Freedom to Speak Up: An independent review into creating an open and honest reporting culture in the NHS available at (accessed 20 June 2015)

· General Chiropractic Council, General Dental Council, General Medical Council, General Optical Council, General Osteopathic Council, General Pharmaceutical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (2014) The professional duty of candour.Available at: statement_on_the_professional_duty_of_ candour_FINAL.pdf_58140142.pdf (accessed 16 June 2015)

· Health Education England (2015) Raising the Bar. Shape of Caring: A Review of the Future Education and Training of Registered Nurses and Care Assistants available at (accessed 27 Aug 2015)

· Health Education England (2014), Framework 15, Health Education England Strategic Framework 2014-2029. Available at: HEE_StrategicFramework15_final.pdf (accessed 18 Feb 2015)

· NHS. Improving Quality End of Life Care. Website. Available at: (accessed 15 June 2015)

· NHS Yorkshire and Humber. Making Every Contact Count website. Available at: http://www.makingeverycontactcount. [accessed 18 Feb 2015].

· Nursing and Midwifery Council (2015) The Code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives. Available at: (accessed 15 June 2015)

· Transforming Care and Commissioning Steering Group (2014). Winterbourne View – Time for Change: Transforming the Commissioning of Services for People with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism.Available at: pdf [accessed 18 Feb 2015]