Communication and Therapeutic Relationships in Nursing/Midwifery
A therapeutic relationship can be described as one that offers support and care without being judgemental and can provide trust and a feeling of safety from threatening situations(Mc Klindon et al1999). In contrast to a social relationship it differs greatly in that a therapeutic relationship consists of collaborated goals which are identified when the relationship is initiated and once these goals are fulfilled the relationship is terminated in a therapeutic way(Nurses Association of New Brunswick2000).There are many communication techniques that can prove to be useful in certain situations for example verbal and nonverbal ...view middle of the document...
Therefore the student must use effective interpersonal skills and communication strategies to build and maintain the therapeutic relationship.
Empathy is having an understanding of how a client feels and it is vital in building a rapport with the client. It can help the client in feeling understood if the nurse understands them. By understanding the client and by getting to know them this is also providing individualised care(Daniels 2004).
Individuality is essential in helping the client to feel valued and respected. A study by Muller and Poggenpoel revealed how clients felt when they were given individualised care and the results showed that discrimination can occur when the clients were stereotyped(Muller et al 1996). It was found that in order for the nurse to accept the client as an individual the nurse must put their own values and ideas aside when giving individualised care(Dziopa et al 2008).
Providing support to the client allows them to feel comfortable and safe in their environment. This
can be initiated by reflecting concern in ones voice and by giving reassurance to the client. It can also be beneficial to let the client voice any concerns they may have and to give them feedback(Dziopa et al 2008).
Promoting equality between the nurse and client is achieved through giving expert knowledge and teaching(Dziopa et al 2008). The therapeutic nurse – client relationship is imbalanced in power due to the client being vulnerable and the nurse giving the care, that being said the nurse also needs the client so as to develop skills and experience. Therefore in order to promote equality the relationship is looked at as mutually beneficial(Nurses Association of New Brunswick 2000).
Trust is an essential skill that needs to be initiated with the client. It provides the client with comfort and this is the foundation of the therapeutic relationship. The client expects the nurse to behave competently and to be knowledgeable and skilled in giving care to them. The client is in a vulnerable position so trust is essential(Nurses Association of New Brunswick 2000).
Communication is the foundation of the therapeutic relationship therefore nurses must be aware of the obstacles that can hinder the development of this relationship. Language is known to be a major obstacle in communicating with clients which can lead to ineffective nursing care and discrepancies in gaining information from the client. In order to overcome this the nurse must try to find common ground with the client. The use of pictures, symbols and dictionaries prove useful in enhancing communication. Culture also can have an effect on communication for example the use of eye contact, physical proximity and physical contact in some cultures is not accepted(Daniels 2004). To bridge this barrier one needs to educate themselves on cultural diversity and gain an understanding of the norms for relevant communities. Education level can also impede the communication process if the...