Why Professional Communication Skills Matter When You Become a Practical Nurse

Two practical female nurses smiling in a hospital after their practical nurse training

Practical Nurses must typically equip themselves with various skills through designated Health Care Assistant (HCA) or Registered Care Aide (RCA) Training to function effectively. However, while technical skills and medical knowledge are essential for this role, it’s equally crucial for Practical Nurses to develop and hone their professional communication skills.

Effective healthcare communication necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the patient and the ability to comprehend and address their experiences. It is not merely enough for the nurse to grasp the patient’s perspective; they must also convey a sense of empathy and openness, ensuring that the patient feels heard and validated. Effective communication not only ensures the smooth functioning of healthcare settings but also has a significant impact on patient outcomes. This blog post will explore why professional communication skills matter when you become a practical nurse.

Building Trust and Advocating for Patients After Nursing School

Professional communication skills allow you to establish trust and build rapport with your patients after practical nurse training. When you can effectively communicate with patients, they feel heard, respected, and valued. This fosters a trusting relationship, making patients more likely to share important information about their health, concerns, and preferences. To create a comfortable and supportive patient environment, a practical nurse must listen attentively, use appropriate body language, and explain what needs to be done.

A nurse holding the hands of a patient after practical nurse training
Communication skills help to build trust with patients, as taught in practical nurse training.

As a practical nurse, you double as an advocate for your patients. Professional communication skills are crucial for advocating patients’ needs, rights, and preferences. When you communicate clearly and assertively, you can ensure that your patients receive the appropriate care, are involved in decision-making processes, and address their concerns. Effective advocacy improves patient satisfaction and helps them feel empowered and informed about their healthcare journey.

Enhancing Patient Safety and Facilitating Effective Teamwork

As you’ve probably discovered in nursing school, teamwork is essential in healthcare settings. As a practical nurse, you typically work closely with other healthcare professionals, including colleagues, supervisors, and support staff. Effective communication skills enable you to collaborate efficiently, share information, and coordinate care plans. Contributing to a positive and cohesive team environment requires expressing your ideas clearly, listening actively, and providing constructive feedback. Strong teamwork and effective communication improve patient outcomes and increase job satisfaction for all healthcare professionals.

Healthcare practitioners talking in nursing school
Communication skills are necessary for interacting with other healthcare professionals.

Similarly, clear and accurate communication is crucial for patient safety. The ability to effectively communicate critical information, such as patient histories, medications, and vital signs, is necessary to ensure the best patient outcome. It also ensures that everyone involved in patient care is well-informed, reducing the risk of errors, improving treatment outcomes, and ultimately enhancing patient safety.

Handling Difficult Situations

You may encounter challenging situations in healthcare, such as delivering distressing news to patients or dealing with upset family members. Professional communication skills equip you with the tools to handle these situations with empathy, compassion, and professionalism. Appropriate language, active listening, and non-verbal cues are essential for effectively communicating sensitive information, providing emotional support, and addressing concerns. This can help alleviate anxiety and distress, promoting a more positive patient experience during difficult times.


Do you want to become a practical nurse?

Contact Discovery Community College to learn how to get started.

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