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The Importance Of Communication And Teamwork In Nursing

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This essay will discuss communication and teamwork, by choosing these two essential skills in not just health care but all aspects of life, I aim to enhance my knowledge and understanding which I hope will improve my professional competence. These two valuable skills are closely linked as effective communication, mutual support and team leadership all contribute to successful teamwork (Baker et al, 2012). In fact effective communication may be seen as one of the most important components of teamwork (Sorbero, 2008), for a team to work collaboratively together to achieve shared outcomes both formal and informal communication must take place regularly, with all team members listening and paying attention to not only verbal communication but also non-verbal and written (Butler and Rose, 2011).

With both topics being wide ranging this assignment will focus on certain elements of both skills, it will firstly identify what is meant by both skills and why they are so vital within a healthcare setting, discuss how good communication and teamwork contributes to effective patient care and satisfaction and how poor communication and teamwork can pose a risk to patient care and wellbeing, it will also touch on some potential barriers in both communication and teamwork.

It will discuss evidence from both research and clinical practice and how this has impacted my learning and development. During and after writing this essay I will collect, treat and store any relevant research findings suitably and ensure they are kept securely in line with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, Code of Conduct (NMC, CoC) (2018), all names and places will be anonymised to protect the identity of both patient and organisation.

Throughout this essay I will collect, treat and store any relevant research findings suitably and ensure they are kept securely in line with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, Code of Conduct (NMC, CoC) (2018), all names and places will be anonymised to protect the identity of both patient and organisation.


Defining communication

There are more than seven complex communication models, this section will focus on just three to define what communication is. In 1948, early theorists thought of communication as Linear, a simplistic way to view the human interaction or communication in the form of; sender sends a message via a channel to the receiver (Narlua, 2006, pp5), the two elements appear to relate to verbal communication only. The circular model proposed by Wilbur Schramm in 1955 suggested communication is a circular process comprising of three key elements – encoding (putting message in channel), decoding (retrieving message) and interpreting (understanding of or responding) (Bhatnager,2011, pp98), also known as interactive model. He demonstrated communication as a two way process in which both sender and receiver use verbal and non-verbal forms of communication, whilst sender is speaking the receiver is listening, the roles are then reversed throughout the exchange (Boyd & Dare, 2014, pp4). The transactional model takes the interactive model and includes non-verbal aspects of communication such as body language, eye contact and facial expressions, the rate, tone, volume and pitch of speech, silences and gestures and written communications.

Importance of communication in healthcare

Communication is so imbedded in day to day life be it; a conversation with family at the breakfast table about the days plans, a discussion with work colleagues about the latest TV program, an important phone call, the first interaction with a stranger or a comment on social media, yet often little or no consideration is given to such a complex phenomenon. There are many reasons why we communicate such as; to elicit or give information, to feel included, to express ideas and influence others, relay feelings or emotions, to strengthen social relations and build trust or simply to pass the time of day. Some communications are forgotten immediately whilst others can last a lifetime. Needs a ref

The (student) nurse-patient relationship begins with the introduction, the patient doesn’t get to choose their nurse, nor does nurse choose patient, there may be notes or a brief handover available. However it is the role of the nurse to build a rapport with the patient in order to gather as much information as possible to allow the best quality of care to be provided. (insert ref) Whilst on placement in a community setting managing service users living with addictions, completing an initial assessment with a homeless male patient, I witnessed a nurse communicating therapeutically. (explain what I mean and add reference)

By greeting the patient and introducing themselves calmly, using open body language, appropriate words and tone, then kindly asking the patient about their problems, keep appropriate eye contact whilst listening to the response and noticing patient reactions. (pat wants a reference) The patient advised that they had no yet eaten today and had no money to purchase any food, that he had looked into a few of the shop bins but it was too early in the day for them to throw food away. The nurse empathised how difficult it must be to live in this way and offered a short term solution to this problem by providing the patient with a list of places near-by where he can go to get a hot meal each day and some essential supplies to take away, the nurse also issued a food voucher and explained where to take it. (Pat wants ref – ? direct gov webite about food vouchers) Whilst the nurse continued with the appointment I offered to make him a hot drink and even found some biscuits. During the appointment the patient began to get emotional and explained he was grateful for the help the nurse had given him and that she hadn’t judged him as he felt so many others did. (pat wants to know how it relates to the literature, code of conduct maybe ?)

Wider reading would help you to understand and discuss this more?

This part of your work is very descriptive due to lack of literature to support.

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You could also consider the NMC Code of Conduct NMC 2018 in your work.

You might like to consider the materials on CANVAS re the assignment? Pats words. I have done not much more than read, the amount of books I have accessed is many, plus I have accessed the material on canvas, but I am not fully understanding it hence the questions.

The nurse took the time to listen to his story about how he came to be homeless and that he had been introduced to substances by another homeless person and that using heroin was the only way he could get through life as it is now because it took away all physical and emotional pain, the patient expressed his awareness of how dangerous it was and that he has tried to stop but has found it too difficult. The nurse reflected that life must be very hard at this time and that he seems to be struggling to develop any new coping skills and that using heroin seems to make life both easier and harder at the same time. (pat – how did this help him?)

They used verbal and non-verbal communication, made gestures and showed empathy and unconditional positive regard. (Pat says how?)By interacting mindfully and not making judgement but accepting that he feels it is too difficult to stop using heroin whilst he remains homeless. The nurse created an environment where the patient felt they could share information, which helped to build trust and enabled the nurse to gather vital information which may have been missed had she not had the time to listen to him

This is such an important part of healthcare, where effective communication is the key to…………….don’t know what else to write at this point.

Pat says all that section is wrong anyway so needs to be changed if I ever get to the end.

  • Good communication
  • Poor communication
  • Potential Barriers

This report will focus on the specific barriers witnessed during my practice placement which are; language barriers and challenging/aggressive behaviour.

challenges in communication where there may be a language barrier or challenging/aggressive behaviour as these seem to be common challenges within the client group in my current role, this will be discussed in further depth later in this report. )????

What I have learned from my practice with examples, why I learned what I did and how it has influenced my own practice and development

the majority of our client group have complex physical and mental health needs, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, criminal justice involvement, social services involvement, there are also many eastern Europeans, from diverse cultural backgrounds that are far away from home, family members and support networks, which can often result in anger and frustration directed towards other clients, staff members or other professionals though the cause is often unrelated to our service provision.

Teamwork 40% waht is teamwork – MDT, why this is important in nursing, respect the importance of the different roles within the MDT and why and how they are important in effective patient care, discuss how ineffective teamwork, poses a risk to patients and health care profession, some possible challenges of teamwork, examples from my practice, teamwork I have witnessed, how I have worked as part of MDT to meet the needs of patients yet remained within professional and legal frameworks, worked within my area of competence and professional, organisational and legal boundaries, worked effectively as part of the MDT to safeguard children and vulnerable adults, what was and wasn’t effective and why, understanding I am accountable for my own actions, the importance of reflection, supervision and documentation, reflect what I have learned and why. Relate all statements to the literature


  1. Baker DP, Salas E, Battles JB, King HB (2012) The relation between teamwork and patient safety. In Carayon, P (Ed) Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care and Patient Safety. Second edition. CRC Press, Boca Raton FL, pp. 185-198.
  2. Butler, M. and Rose, E. (2011). Introduction to organisational behaviour. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, pp.154.
  3. Nursing & Midwifery Council. (2018). The code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses, midwives and nursing associates. [Online] Available at [accessed 1st May 2019]
  4. Sorbero, M. (2008). Outcome measures for effective teamwork in inpatient care. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corp., pp.1.

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