Nursing

Tool of the month: Scripts for difficult conversations

Nurse Leader Insider, August 3, 2009

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Effective communication is complex in the healthcare setting. Emotions, thoughts, and reactions to what is seen and heard are intertwined with spoken words and personal beliefs. Often, in the emotion of the moment, words are spoken that are harsh or hurtful. When this happens, barriers begin to form that can result in hostile work environments.

Scripting is a tool that gives nurses guidelines for handling situations more effectively. It can help with daily interactions with patients, peers, and physicians. And when used correctly, it can be empowering. Having a few good phrases on hand for situations in which they are the recipient of or witness to horizontal violence can give nurses ammunition to disarm offenders professionally and hold them accountable for their actions. It also helps avoid negativity when addressing a problem with a peer. This tool lists some scripted phrases for dealing with negative behaviors and difficult conversations.

Also, don't forget you can check out more tools in our Tools Library and evidence-based tools and articles in the Evidence-Based Resource Center on www.StrategiesforNurseManagers.com.



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