One of the most frequently asked questions I’ve been asked in all my years of mentoring and coaching nurses at all levels, from the bedside to the boardroom, is this: “Why must I say things over and over and still not get my point across?” We forget that communication in nursing is a tricky two-way street.
Unfortunately, this failure to communicate is a pitfall that we all experience from time to time. You not only have to plan for what you are going to speak, write or otherwise convey. You must also put yourself on the receiving side of your message. You have to do your best to determine how you are going to be heard above all the “noise” that is ever present in your receivers world.
After all, communication is important in our careers, relationships, and of course, to our patients. It can be the tool that sets you apart from the good nurses and makes you an excellent nurse. It can be the vehicle that gets you mentioned in patient satisfaction surveys or requested shift after shift by a patient’s family. And if you are interested in the road to promotion, it is a key skill that will place you squarely on that path.
Here are the four C’s of communication in nursing: