Nursing

Blog spotlight: Improve the nursing image with professional communication

Nurse Leader Insider, January 5, 2009

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This week, Kathleen Bartholomew, RC, RN, MN, discusses professional communication and simple steps nurses can take to elevate the nursing image:

Every interaction that we have with another person at work is a communication. Even if we never speak, our body language portrays whether we are interested or disengaged, caring or aloof. More than anything we communicate what we think of ourselves.

Therefore, if we feel like a long-suffering martyr for healthcare, this image comes through. And if we feel like a skilled expert who can compassionately deliver excellent patient care, everyone who comes within five feet of us knows it without us ever saying a word.

Ensure you and staff communicate professionally by modeling the following behaviors at your facility:

  • Always stop and look people in the eye when you are speaking to them
  • Never stand by listening while one staff member puts another one down
  • Never criticize in public; always speak to the person directly in private
  • Keep confidences
  • Work cooperatively, despite feelings of dislike
  • Be willing to help when help is requested (or you notice a staff member is overwhelmed)
  • Don't participate in gossip

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