Communication: Crucial Conversations Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Health - Nursing Type: Essay Paper: #67983689 Related Topics: Effective Communication, Family Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Non Verbal Communication
Excerpt from Essay :

Communication in Healthcare: Crucial Conversations

A crucial conversation which I was a part of recently involved an experience which concerned a patient going through end of life care. During this conversation I had to bring to the other nurse's attention the fact that some of her actions were offending the patient and the patient's family and that during this difficult time that really was not acceptable. For example, during the conversation I explained to the nurse that eye contact with this middle eastern ethnic group was supposed to be avoided, as was pointing as both were considered extremely offensive. The other nurse also tried to prevent candles from being lit and folk dishes from being eaten in the room. I explained to her that within this culture it was an inherent and important part of the ritual of death and a way to honor the dying. It was apparent that the other nurse was embarrassed by her behavior and by her own ignorance, as she avoided eye contact and nodded a lot, looking down at her feet. I tried to communicate as gently as possible as this other nurse simply didn't have the same amount of experience and just wasn't knowledgeable about end of life care. I tried to approach the situation as an attempt to communicate and to foster a teachable moment. Ultimately this conversation was beneficial as it led to the more active participation in a shared vision among this nurse and myself and a greater manifestation of the shared vision of the entire hospital at large (Grossman...


In this case, the stakes were high as it was end of life care. The strong emotions involved the younger nurse's level of embarrassment regarding her actions. The opposing opinions weren't crucial or destructive: they just meant that her opinion consisted of following hospital protocol more than others.

This was a crucial conversation that evolved slowly, with patient happiness and the correctness of end of life care at stake. The situation was ultimately handled well and resolved. Instead of letting anger and hurt feelings to take over, this dialogue turned into one which was more powerful and transformative for the both of us (Patterson et al., 2011).

Section Two

Communication is vital in any professional working environment, though it becomes especially crucial in the world of nursing. Keeping quiet or silent can be dangerous to a patient's health or only contribute in helping to establish poor patient outcomes. One of the most important strategies involved in allowing communication to thrive is being aware of where reticence comes from. In many cases, there's a fear of sounding disrespectful (Maxfield et al., 2012). This is with good reason as well: disrespect can poison working relationships, resulting in tensions among colleagues and difficult working situations. Thus, with an awareness of…

Sources Used in Documents:


Crib, A. View in a new window. (2011). Integrity at work: Managing routine moral stress in professional roles. Nursing Philosophy. 12, 119-127.

Grossman, S., & Valiga, T. (2009). The new leadership challenge: Creating the future of nursing

(4th ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.

Maxfield, D; Grenny, J. (2012) The Silent Treatment. Retrieved from AORN & ACCN:

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