Therapeutic Communication – Term Paper

Therapeutic communication is the face to face interaction who objective is to advance both physical and emotional condition of the patient. Therapeutic techniques are used by nurses to ensure that they have communicated well with their patients towards providing them with support and all the required communication. This report is aimed at providing the various techniques that were used during the week in ensuring that all the nursing goals have been achieved towards communication with the patient. 

Therapeutic communications techniques

Asking relevant questions. I used this technique in order to seek all the information that I needed for decision making. The questions were asked one after another systematically and each question aimed at exploring all information about the patient. The open ended questions that I used allowed me to take a conversational lead towards introducing relevant information. Examples are “What problems are majorly affecting you right now?” or “How has your pain impacted your daily life?”

Summarizing. This technique is aimed at pulling all the information about the client into one documentation. Importance of summarizing is that it provides the confidence that the nurse understand what the patient is suffering (Wachtel, 2011). . This is an exact review of what transpired during the time of interaction with the client. Example “I have come to find out that you have improved and your pain level has dropped to one. This is because of the Vicodin you took in the morning. I think you should be taking the painkillers just before the doctors comes for the physical therapy as it has helped you to do the required rehabilitation process.” Client response was “Yes, taking the medicine just before the physical therapy has been successful due to the drop in pain in both my leg and arm.”

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Communication blocks

Reassuring clichés. These are techniques that are used by nurses often when communicating with clients. What the nurses are saying is automatically what is expected to communicate to their patients. Theses reassurance cliché’s are at times are not true, but it the only way the nurse can communicate to the patients. Example” Everything will be all right,” “You are doing well and fine.” The use of cliché’s is a block since as a nurse saying all is fine to the patient resulted from my sincere desire to see the patient have confidence that actually the pain is reducing. The use of cliché’s at times contradict what the patients are feeling. Telling a patient suffering from pain that all is will be alright might make the feel that the nurse is not intended in solving their problems.

Disagreeing with the patients. These are statements that are made by nurses to their patients regarding what they feel. Disagreement come up when the nurse put off what the patient is saying. Example “You are wrong” “No, that is not true” Such statements contradict what the patients and nurses have indicated to them. These are blocks to communications as patients would feel threatened and therefore stop expressing themselves accordingly. The patient can even stop from talking about what they feel for fear of being disapproved. 

Alternative therapeutic communications techniques for the blocks to communicate.

Clarifying. This is a technique that the nurses should use to try in understanding the patients for what they find not to be clear. The nurses ought to seek immediate clarification. The advantages of seeking immediate clarifications on what the patient has said will immediately stop any misunderstanding therefore resulting to smooth communication. Showing an interest on the patient automatically motivates the patients to full communicate their problems. Meaningful communication between the patients will only be achieved through effective understanding between the two parties. Example “Could you please tell me more about……because I am not sure if I am getting the clear meaning”.

Exploring. This technique is used to help the nurses to explore further into the reality of the subject they are discussing with the patients. A good nurse is expected to recognize and ensure that they have refrained from probing their clients. In case the patient makes a decision not to explore more about their problems, then the nurse should not probe the patient. The nurse is expected to respect the client’s wishes. Example” what kind of home are you living in?” “Tell me about it”

Swanson caring process

Swanson’s theory of caring maintains that nursing care is a make-up of related processes that grow up from the nurse’s own convictions and that of patient’s understanding. The objective of Swanson’s caring model is to deliver care whose objective is to enhance dignity, respect and empowerment. There are five components of caring that are knowing, being with, doing for, enabling and maintaining belief. Knowing process is aimed at understanding event (Swanson, 1993).Event have great meaning for clients and it is not appropriate to make assumptions. The nurses need to center on the one that is being cared for and seeking cues. Example of how a nurse can understand the patient is to ask every detail information about the current event for instance how the physical therapy has been impacting their health improvements. Being with the client emotionally and sharing their feelings provide them with ease and therefore they will not feel burden with the health situation at hand. Doing for means that the nurse is required to do to their clients what they would love to be done to. Example is comforting the patient when they feel pain. Maintaining belief is to sustain faith that the client will get through with the event. The nurse is supposed to maintain hope attitude and offer the client with realistic hopes. 


Wachtel, P. L. (2011). Therapeutic communication: Knowing what to say when. Guilford Press.

Swanson, K. M. (1993). Nursing as informed caring for the wellbeing of others. Image: The Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 25(4), 352-357.