Ask the expert: Classroom education: Communication skills

Nurse Leader Insider, December 13, 2010

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This week, Adrianne Avillion, DEd, RN, gives helpful ways to introduce communication skills into classroom education with exercises that promote active participation.

Q: How do I incorporate communication skills into my staff orientation?

A: Communication between nurses, between nurses and physicians, between nurses and patients, between nurses and members of other healthcare professions, and any combination of these individuals in an ongoing concern. Most, if not all, needs assessments contain references to the need for better communication within an organization. But, how can the same old information be presented in an innovative way? Here are some suggestions.

You might start by assembling learners in the classroom. Very clearly define what you mean by good communication. Include verbal and nonverbal communication, and don’t forget the audio components (tone of voice and pitch). Include body language and cultural considerations for those staff and patient populations that are most often part of your community. It would be helpful if you would provide this information in handout form along with both good and bad examples. You could also use a DVD and role-play examples as introductory materials. Make sure all learners are consistent in their understanding and definitions of good and bad communication.

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