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Communication in Mental Health Nursing

Info: 1148 words (5 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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Tagged: psychiatric


Buknall et al., (2013) argues that effective communication is essential to enhance health outcome of a patient. To accomplish this; however, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2015) stipulates that professional nurses are obliged to understand and care for patients proactively; demonstrating competency, compassion, empathy and sincerity. Professional nurses must also endeavour to devote time to communicating with patients, families and relatives, carers and healthcare professionals involved in patients care by considering necessary confidentiality (NMC, 2015; Buknall et al., 2013).

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This essay will explore communication as one of the core concepts in Mental Health nursing practice. It will also delineate the notion of care and draw attention to the underpinning rationale for communication in nursing practice. The essay will further reveal how communication affects the role of a professional nurse in the delivery of quality care and its impact on patient’s holism. It will also discuss the value of communication to my practice as a future Mental Health nurse as well as integrating the various points of discussion to generate a conclusion.

Videbeck (2011) described communication as a dynamic process in the exchange of information, notions and feelings amongst people by means verbal and non-verbal messages such as speech, signs, symbols, body languages, eye contacts, facial expressions et cetera. Katz et al., (2001) emphasised that communication plays a crucial role in human lives. Sheldon (2005) also argues that communication augments the multiplicity of knowledge and information as well as developing relationships amongst people. In health care settings, communication involves relationships building, engagements and empowerment; to promote patients informed choices and decision-making as regards their health, according to their priorities and conditions (Katz et al., 2001). Similarly, evidence reveals that effective communication enhances patients’ recovery and facilitates inclusion (Black and Jenkinson, 2009; Norman and Ryrie, 2013). However, the failings of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust reflects deficiencies in communication leading to patients suffering from indignity, disengagement, abuses, injuries and death in extreme cases.

Forms care planning, audiovisuals, makaton, fluid chart, incident records,


define and use communication as a key concept professional nursing practice (Mental Health)

Clearly, define the concept of care and give a clear rationale why this is important to Mental Health nursing practice

It should be explored, and an explanation provided of how communication relates to the role of the nurse in providing quality care, and to the patient experience. Comments on its significance to informing your practice as a future nurse are also required.


Identify and discuss the core concepts and theory of nursing

Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of contemporary nursing practice in all fields.

Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the importance of engaging with people and building caring professional and ethical relationships to deliver person-centred care.



Domain 2: Communication and interpersonal skills

All nurses must use excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Their communications must always be safe, effective, compassionate and respectful. They must communicate effectively using a wide range of strategies and interventions including the effective use of communication technologies. Where people have a disability, nurses must be able to work with service users and others to obtain the information needed to make reasonable adjustments that promote optimum health and enable equal access to services.

To achieve the required standard of practice the student must:

  • Build partnerships and develop therapeutic relationships with service users within professional boundaries
  • Interpret people’s needs, accurately record these and respond appropriately
  • Recognise when a person finds it hard to communicate and respond appropriately
  • Engage, maintain and when appropriate disengage from professional caring relationships
  • Actively share personal information with others if safety and protection override the need for confidentiality Recognise the impact of significant life events (e.g. abuse or trauma)
  • Provide support and education to assist individuals to develop problem-solving strategies for maximising independence
  • Good communication also is not only based on the physical abilities of nurses, but also on education and experience.



Kitson, A. Marshal, A. Bassett, K. Zeitz, K. (2012) ‘What are the core elements of person-centred care? A narrative review and synthesis of the literature from health policy, medicine and nursing’. Journal of Advanced Nursing 69 (1) pp. 14-15.

Buknall, T., K. Hutchinson, A., M, Botti, M., McTier, L. Rawson, H. Hewitt, N., A. McMurray, A. Marshall, A., P. Gillespie, B., M. and Chaboyer, W. (2016) ‘Engaging patients and families in communication across transitions of care: an integrative review protocol’. Journal of Advanced Nursing 72 (7) pp.1689-1700.

Norman, I. and Ryrie, I. (2013) The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing: Principles and Practice 3rd Edition Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education

Katz, J. Peberdy, A. and Douglas, J. (2001) Promoting Health: Knowledge and Practice 2nd Edition London: Palgrave.

Finke, E., H. Light, J. and Kitko, L. (2008) ‘A systematic review of the effectiveness of nurse communication with patients with complex communication needs with a focus on the use of augmentative and alternative communication’. Journal of Clinical Nursing 17 (16) pp. 2102-2115.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2015) The Code: Standards for Competence for Registered Nurses (Revised) London: NMC.

Black, N. and Jenkinson, C. (2009) ‘Measuring Patients’ Experience and Outcomes’. BMJ 339 p. 2495.

Sheldon, L. (2005) Communication for nurses: Talking with patients. London: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Videbeck, S., L. (2011) Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing 5th Edition Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.


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Psychiatric nursing, also known as mental health nursing is a role that specialises in mental health, and cares for people of all ages experiencing mental illnesses or distress. These can include: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders etc

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