Nurses and Communication Nurses Play Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2565 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 13  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare


Youngner (1986) asserts that critical care nurses must find the balance between meeting the needs of the patient and conforming to the wishes of the family (Youngner 1986).

The nurse must understand that the proper communication is essential to the health and recovery of the patient (Youngner 1986).

Once nurses understand their role, they will be able to care for critically ill patients more effectively.

According to a study published in the journal Health Communications, there are psychological responses that occur when patients are communicating with nurses and other health care professionals. This particular study observed that communication with nurses, family and physicians had an impact on the overall well being of the patient. The journal article reports that The purposes of this study were to examine CCU patients' cardiovascular responses to the process of communication and to examine the effects of communication with individuals of varying roles (i.e., nurse, physician, and family member) on physiological variables. This was part of a larger study of environmental effects on patients. In this study, communication was defined as conversation between patients and their nurses, physicians, and families. Patient cardiovascular responses were defined as HR and blood pressure (BP), which were assessed while patients were talking and listening to others (Baker et al. 1992).

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The results of the study were conclusive with other studies that have suggested that there is no change in blood pressure or the heart rate minimum when critical care patients were communicating with nurses, family or doctors. However, the study did find that there was a difference in the maximum heart rate when communicating with these individuals. This confirms previous findings, which suggest that "increased sympathetic stimulation which increases the need for myocardial oxygenation (Baker et al. 1992)."

These findings are important because they illustrate how communication affects critical patients. These findings also allow nurses and others in the healthcare profession to devise ways to meet the needs of patients through effective communication.

Term Paper on Nurses and Communication Nurses Play Assignment

An article entitled, "What Patients Remember: a Content Analysis of Critical Incidents in Health Care," explains that caring and effective communication were amongst the things that patients remembered most when faced with a critical care situation. The patients indicated that the communication that they shared with their nurses affected their recovery. The patients specifically noted that the interpersonal relationships that were developed were of particular importance to their recovery. One participant noted that, "the friendly attitude makes you feel relaxed when you are tense. (Ruben 1993)" This again confirms the need for compassionate communication and care giving amongst nurses.

A book entitled Human Values in Critical Care Medicine, also explains that the communication between a nurse and a critically ill patient may be compromised further if the patient is severely impaired (Youngner 1986).

The book explains that if the patient is in a coma or the patient has suffered some other type of neurological damage effective communication may be impossible (Youngner 1986). In such cases, nurses must focus on communicating with family members.

Nurses also have a difficult time communicating with individuals that have been sedated. This difficulty exists because sedated patients are often incapacitated and do not have full control of their cognitive abilities or reasoning skills. In these situations, nurses are more likely to communicate with the patient's family members. Nurses must be sensitive to the family's needs and attempt to answer any questions that they may have about the condition of the patient.

Depending on the level of sedation, some patients are still conscious of what is going on around them. For this reason, nurses must remember to communicate positive messages that will calm fears that a patient may have. Perhaps, the nurse can speak to family members outside of the room away from the patient. Doing this, will decrease the patient's anxiety and increase the likelihood of the patient making a recovery.

Discussion and Conclusion

We began our discussion with an overview of what the relationship between a nurse and a patient entails. We found that the relationship between a nurse and a patient should be one of care and compassion. Our investigation also suggests that the relationship should be helpful. We concluded that a helpful relationship facilitates healing and encourages the recovery of the patient. In addition to discussing the nurse-patient relationship, we also discussed the importance of good communication between the nurse and the patient. Our results suggest that good communication occurs when the nurse is both assertive and caring. We found that this combination provides an environment for the patient that is conducive with making a recovery.

The overall purpose of this paper was to discuss the manner in which nurses communicate with critically ill and sedated patients.

We found that caring for critically ill patients is an extremely complex and draining task for nurses. We also discovered that effective communication can ease the anxiety of both the patient and the family. Our investigation found that effective communication with a critically ill patient or their family can greatly reduce anxiety and improve the chances of the patient recovering.

Our investigation also concluded that the nurse often serves as an intermediary between the patient/family and the doctor. This is especially true when the patient is severely impaired or sedated. In this situation, it is imperative that nurses know how to communicate effectively with family member and calm any anxiety that may exist.


Baker, C. F Garvin, B.J., Kennedy, C.W., & Polivka, B.J. (1992). Cardiovascular Responses of CCU Patients When Communicating with Nurses, Physicians, and Families. Health Communication, 4(4), 291-301.


Hirschmann, K. (1999). Blood, Vomit, and Communication: the Days and Nights of an Intern on Call. Health Communication, 11(1), 35-57.


Riley, J.B. (2000). Communication in Nursing. St. Louis, MO: Mosby.


Rose, J.H., & Kresevic, D. (2000). Nurse vs. Family Caregiver Perspectives on Hospitalized Older Patients: an Exploratory Study of Agreement at Admission and Discharge. Health Communication, 12(1), 63-80.


Ruben, B.D. (1993). What Patients Remember: a Content Analysis of Critical Incidents in Health Care. Health Communication, 5(2), 99-112.


Youngner, S.J. (Ed.). (1986). Human Values in Critical Care Medicine. New York: Praeger Publishers.


Zalumas, J. (1995). Caring in Crisis: An Oral History of Critical Care Nursing. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Nurses and Communication Nurses Play.  (2004, July 20).  Retrieved September 25, 2020, from

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"Nurses and Communication Nurses Play."  20 July 2004.  Web.  25 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Nurses and Communication Nurses Play."  July 20, 2004.  Accessed September 25, 2020.