THERAPEUTIC COMMUNICATION Therapeutic Communication is based on a health related goal that is therapeutic. It is not a social conversation. Through the use of communication skills, the nurse enables the client to express him or herself. By using a Process Recording a student can analyze verbal and non verbal communication, identify successful techniques and areas for improvement, and perhaps most importantly, practice!! Additionally students will gain awareness of the impact of their own behaviors on clients, explore various techniques to achieve therapeutic goals and analyze possible alternatives, and become more objective in interpreting client’s communication. Document the exact conversation that occurred between the client and the student even if you realize a mistake was made. This is a valuable part of the learning process. Difficult conversations in which the student is at a loss for what to say can be the most valuable learning experiences. Textbook References: • Potter & Perry’s Fundamentals of Nursing, Chapter 24 FAQ’s Why must student nurses practice this skill? • Nurses will have the opportunity to communicate with clients in many different settings for many different reasons. This is an important time to help clients learn about themselves, their health and what they can do to help themselves. The nurse uses therapeutic communication purposefully in order to implement therapeutic interventions related to health care. How do I learn to have Therapeutic Communications with my clients? • By practicing! You will be studying about Therapeutic Communication and you will be applying what you learn in the clinical area. Remember, each patient encounter is an opportunity to teach them about health promotion and disease prevention. In the psychiatric setting, it is an opportunity for the student nurse to use “therapeutic self” to help the patient discover what they think, learn to make decisions, learn how to relate to others, etc. PROCESS RECORDING FORMAT Patient information Appearance – Client initials, age, any significant observations regarding appearance. Setting – Any significant observation regarding description of environment. position of student nurse relative to client, presence of other people, distractions. State your professional goal for the interaction Column #1 – The client’s verbal and behavioral communication (what the client said and did) Column # 2 – The nurse’s verbal and behavioral communication (what you said and did) Column #3 – The nurse’s self-awareness (what are your thoughts and feelings during the interaction) Column #4 – The nurse’s self-evaluation for professional growth a. Identify communication skills or blocks used in relation to the purposes of therapeutic communication. a. Identify alternate responses or statements that you think might have better achieved the purposes of therapeutic communication, and why. b. On the second page – answer the four questions regarding your goal statement, self-evaluation, and references used.
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