Professional communication competences of nurses

Department of Health Informatics and Statistics, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland; Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, University of Economics and Innovation, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2012;19(3):601–607
Introduction: Dissonance between the high ‘technical’ professionalism of nurses and the relatively low level of patient satisfaction with care received is a phenomenon observed in many countries. Many studies show that it occurs in the case of an inadequate interpersonal communication between nurses and patients. Methods: Three basic scopes of communication competences were involved in the research process: a) motivation, b) knowledge, c) skills, and the following three methods were used: 1) documentation analysis (standards, plans and educational programmes); 2) diagnostic survey concerning professional communication competences of nurses in nursing care – a questionnaire form designed by the authors; 3) self-reported communication skills in nursing care – adjective check list. The study group covered a total number of 108 respondents in the following subgroups: 1) professional nurses who, as a rule, were not trained in interpersonal communication (42 respondents); students of nursing covered by a standard educational programme (46 respondents); 3) students of nursing who, in addition to a standard educational programme, attended extra courses in professional interpersonal communications nursing (20 respondents). The data obtained were subjected to statistical analysis with the use of descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing. Results: The results of studies indicate poor efficacy of shaping communication competences of nurses based on education in the area of general psychology and general interpersonal communication. Communication competences acquired during undergraduate nursing education, are subject to regression during occupational activity. Discussion: Methods of evaluating communication competences are useful in constructing group and individual programmes focused on specific communication competences rather than on general communication skills.