What do I need to learn in order to progress through my course? How do I achieve the best possible patient-care?

Professional Skills for Nurses answers both of these questions and supports the development of key nursing skills underpinned by theory. Designed specifically to meet the needs of nursing students in the initial stages of training, the book focuses on the essential knowledge and skills needed for effective patient-care while at the same time helping students to achieve the NMC outcomes required for entry into branch programs.

Each chapter focuses on a key aspect of nursing care backed up with practical tips, examples drawn from all branches of nursing, and a range of study activities to help you reflect on your learning and get the most from practice placements.

Key themes in healthcare such as ethics, evidence-based practice and health promotion are discussed throughout the book, highlighting how these relate to everyday nursing practice.

Focusing on the core skills covered in the initial stages of training, Professional Skills in Nursing is the ideal introduction for students during the Common Foundation Program.

Communication Skills

Communication skills

Learning Outcomes

This chapter is designed to help you:

  • understand what is meant by communication
  • understand why communication needs to be effective to care for patients and maintain a professional image
  • understand the use of interpersonal communication skills
  • be aware of barriers to communication
  • appreciate the role of record keeping.


Communication is a powerful, potentially life changing activity. The NHS Plan (DH 2000) recognises communication as an essential and important part of nursing care. Chant et al. (2001) found that effective communication in healthcare influences patient satisfaction, compliance, complaint rates and levels of psychological and emotional distress. Campbell (2006) identified poor communication as one of the commonest causes of complaints in healthcare. DH (1999), UKCC (1999, 2000), ENB (2000) have all recognised the potential ...

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