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Keywords

Communication skills, Hope, Patients with cancer, Psychological distress, Teaching communication skills

 

Authors

  1. Wilkinson, Susie R.N., R.N.T., Dip.Ad.Nurs.Stud., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Abstract

Communication is a vital component of nursing care that can improve outcomes for patients with cancer and their families in terms of psychological distress. Research indicates that nurses' communication skills have shown little improvement over the last 20 years. Communication is a practical skill that can be learned in theory from the literature or educational programs, but putting theory to practice in the clinical setting is far more problematic. Nurses need to be aware of their own communication skills by listening to themselves and learning from their mistakes. Only with this practice will skills improve. Communication can make or mar a person's illness experience. It is time for nurses to take effective communication seriously and actively accept personal responsibility for their actions because there is clear evidence showing that good communication makes a difference for patients and their families.