Title: Communication Skills for Adult Nurses
Edited by: Sarah Kraszewski and Dr Abayomi Mckewen
Publisher: Open University Press, 2011
Reviewer: Jane Brown, Patient Safety Advisor, Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust
What was it like?
This is a vital book for all nurses, there are a number of books on the market dealing with communication but this is different in that it highlights bad practice as well as good practice. The emphasis is the importance on the realistic aspects of putting this in to practice and developing good communication skills. Within the healthcare setting aspects of communication are raised in complaints, incident investigations and sometimes too much reliance on IT.
What were the highlights?
This is a succinct book, which deals with every aspect of communication from the basics to IT and emails to how a nurse can direct a complex conversation.
This book enables the reader to look at how effective (or ineffective) their communication skills may be, not just as themselves but within their teams as well.
The authors are both healthcare professionals - Sarah Krazsewski has a wealth of experience with adult nursing, she is a registered nurse tutor and nurse prescriber. Dr McEwen’s background is as GP and part-time associate Dean.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The book discusses the subject of emails, which can be a good communication tool, but often we rely on emails too much in healthcare, copying in various staff member, writing in text speak, not always realising that emails can be misconstrued, recognising that they are disclosible and can be a lasting document. All too often people receive angry emails and the knee jerk reaction is to fire another one back. The author advises the reader the pitfalls of this and the dos and don’ts. There is emphasis on information governance also
The chapters are well set out with activities, reflection and patient perspectives.
The book highlights the ethics of good team work, communication with diverse groups, aiding the reader when communication becomes challenging and complex and most importantly avoiding a potential situation arising in the first place.
This is patient focused and links in well with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
I found the patient scenarios so valuable and thought provoking, and throughout the book thoughts kept reoccurring how can I do things better in the future.
Who should read it?
Although this book is written for adult nurses, this is a book for all healthcare workers. All healthcare staff, no matter how experienced, can gain so much from this book. If all staff were given this book, complaints and serious incidents could be less with patients reassured and staff a lot more confident within their teams.