How Communication Tools in Nursing Reduce Errors
Being a nurse is just as difficult as being a doctor, if not more so in some circumstances. A nurse is there in the room often before the doctor arrives and after they leave. The nurse helps with services and the treatment of the patient as needed.
Patients may not always be as vocal about what or how they’re feeling, but a professional nurse will always know how to pick up signs and be alert to non-verbal communication.
For a nurse to be better at interacting with patients, there are some communication tools that can help significantly, including identifying a patient’s condition to minimize the chance of errors occurring. By ensuring the use of these communication tools, the nurse can effectively communicate with the patient and make them feel more comfortable during treatment. A patient’s emotional and mental wellbeing is just as important as their physical health.
The communication tool that we will be discussing first in this article is one of the most commonly used and is often taught to new students in nursing schools. Every student nurse who begins to take classes will be introduced to SBAR.
SBAR stands for situation, background, assessment, and recommendation.
These letters stand for each word that best describes whatever a nurse needs to know and communicate in a very concise and direct way. Another nurse can easily understand what their fellow nurse is telling them as long as they’re aware of this particular communication tool.
Four different areas are addressed behind each letter in a quick and simple acronym.
Let’s take a look at each of these concepts with a brief description below.
- Situation: I’m a nurse (name) in ward ( number) calling about patient (name) because (give reason).
- Background: A direct and to the point explanation giving the background of the patient.
- Assessment: Convey the assessment you’ve made about the patient.
- Recommendation: Give your recommendation.
Another communication style is the BATHE protocol. It stands for background, affect, troubles, handling, and empathic statement. This communication tool keeps the conversation between the patient and the nurse comfortable and ensures adequate communication between parties.
- Background: How’s life going?
- Affect: How is it affecting you?
- Troubles: What troubles you in this given situation?
- Handling: How are you best coping up with it and handling it?
- Empathic statement: That is sad and must be very hard on you, but you’re being fairly strong about it.
These are only the basics, but they are foundations that will follow you through your nursing career.