Specific Core Nursing Content # 4: Communication Theory and Interpersonal Skills

Clinical Learning Outcomes

Teaching Strategies

Classroom Teaching Strategies

"Therapeutic communication is essential to the use of the self as an instrument of healing.  It is the use of verbal and non-verbal messages to establish a professional therapeutic nurse-client relationship that will be the context for meeting the client’s physical and psychological needs.” Williams, C.  (2004). Therapeutic Interaction in Nursing.  New Jersey:  Slack, Inc.

               Elements that characterize therapeutic communication are:

S – Sit squarely facing the client (unless ethnic/cultural background of client discourages direct eye contact).

O – Observe an open posture.

L – Lean forward toward the client.

E – Establish eye contact (unless ethnic/cultural background of client discourages direct eye contact).

R – Relax

Clinical Teaching Strategies

Curricular Resources

Case Studies

Simulation Exercise

Setting: A psychiatric adolescent inpatient unit, in an acute hospital setting.

Scenario: A female adolescent has been admitted involuntarily to an acute psychiatric hospital for attempted suicide: acetaminophen overdose.

The listed article describes pre- and post- simulation reflection on communication skills.

Hammer, M., Fox, S., Hampton, M. D. (2014).  Use of a therapeutic communication simulation model in pre-licensure psychiatric mental health nursing: Enhancing strengths and transforming challenges. Nursing and Health 2(1), 1-8. Retrieved from  http://www.hrpub.org   DOI: 10.13189/nh.2014.020101 

Assessment Strategies

Clinical Skills Checklist