Good interaction and communication between the person and health care professionals establishes a relationship based on respect and empathy. This is important for effective communication to ensure care quality and continuity that optimises outcomes for the person and their family.
The ability of nurses to tailor approaches to communication according to the audience and purpose is also important and will include communication with:
There are two main types of communication that need to be considered:
VitalTalk Communicating roles and skills for clinical care nurses
Download Communication overview (140kb pdf)
Compassion and good communication helps nurses to create a protective environment in which the person and their family can optimally deal with any emotional concerns associated with a life-limiting illness. Nursing communication has been described as the use of physical and interactive presence, active listening, silence, and therapeutic presence.
Communication is a core nursing skill. Interactions will depend on the nurses' role, experience, confidence, skills, ability, and whether enough is known about what is happening with a patient to embark on a detailed conversation. In the following sections we help you to explore these concepts and provide tips for practice according to audience and purpose.
Communication with patients, carers and families in palliative care includes supporting people through caring tasks and development of a therapeutic relationship to build trust, and a sense of solidarity and empowerment.
Communication within the care team facilitates the team’s capacity to provide comprehensive care with optimal collaboration. Communication is based on a common goal of quality care with the acknowledgement of the skill and understanding of other members of the interdisciplinary team.
Communication within the organisation acknowledges the procedures and information channels in place across the organisation, privacy considerations, and the requirements of auditing and accreditation.
Conflict in communication can occur due to different perspectives of care, different patient goals, different values, different ethics, or different role expectations.
Video from the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC)
This information was drawn from the following resources:
Do the End-of-Life Essentials communication module
Use the VitalTalk website and app
Go to Teach-back for practical communication tips
Last updated 10 October 2022