Modes of Communication in Nursing

Modes of Communication in Nursing

There are two different modes of Communication in Nursing Verbal communication and Non-verbal communication. Verbal communication uses the spoken or written word. Non-verbal communication uses other forms such as gestures or facial expressions.

Both kinds of communication occur concurrently, the majority of communication (80 to 90%) is nonverbal. Nurses need to learn about non-verbal communication to develop effective communication patterns and relationships with clients/patients.

Verbal Communication

Verbal Modes of Communication in Nursing is conscious people choose their words. A wide variety of feelings can be conveyed while talking. For example, sadness, annoyance, etc. Pacing or rhythm is also important in communication. When nurses choose words to say or write, consider the following criteria:

  • Simplicity: The message is constructed in simple language and commonly spoken vocabulary.
  • Clarity: It means exactly what is meant.
  • Timing and Relevance: No matter how clearly or simply words are stated or written, the timing needs to be appropriate to ensure that words are heard. Messages also need to relate to the interests of persons. For this nurses need to be sensitive to the patient’s needs.
  • Adaptability: Spoken messages need to be changed according to the behavioral cues the receiver gives. This adjustment is referred to as adaptability such as nurses need to speak in a low tone if the patient is sad.
  • Credibility: It means worthiness, trustworthiness, and reliability. The nurse becomes accessible when she has the knowledge about the subject and gives correct information to the patient, the reliability is developed by being consistent, dependable, and honest.
SEE ALSO : Process and methods of Data Collection in Nursing

Non-Verbal Modes of Communication in Nursing

Non-verbal modes of Communication in Nursing are Also called body language. It includes gestures, body movements, and physical appearance. As non-verbal communication is controlled less consciously it tells more about a person i.e. what a person is feeling rather than what is said. Nurse must gain awareness of their actions as they are under constant scrutiny by their clients. Nurses need to learn to convey understanding respect for client’s viewpoints, and acceptance of clients.

As a nurse, you need to learn to interpret non-verbal behavior, which requires a systematic approach. For example, you should assess people’s overall physical appearance, postures, and gait and then specific parts of the body such as the face and the hands. It would help if you were alert to sudden changes in a person’s dress, which will indicate a loss of self-esteem or a physical illness. The clothing of a patient is a rich source of information. Clothing conveys social and financial status, culture, religion, group association, and self-concept.

  • Posture and Gait: The self-concept, mood, and health status of the person can be known from the way people walk and carry themselves. For example, tense posture and rapidly determined gait indicate anger and anxiety.
  • Facial Expression: We can easily know the feelings of joy, sadness, fear, surprise anger, etc. from facial expressions. Even patients also observe nurse’s facial expressions. Though nurses cannot control all facial expressions, nurses have to learn to control feelings such as fear and disgust in certain situations. Eye muscles and mouth muscles are very expressive. Eye contacts give assurance and convey trust.
  • Hand Movement and Gestures: Like the face, hands are expressive. They can communicate feelings at any given moment. For Example, An anxious patient may wring his hands or pick his nails. Hands are involved in gestures. For example, the handshake is a friendly sign. Hands are also very expressive in verbal communication and reinforce the verbal message. People with special communication problems, such as the deaf, dumb, or blind, learn sign language with the use of their hands. In sickness when the patient cannot talk verbally uses their hands to convey his needs.
Modes of Communication in Nursing

Written Communication: Accuracy in Ink

Documentation is the unsung hero of healthcare. Precise and objective language in charting observations and recording interventions ensures continuity of care. Here, SEO can be improved by incorporating relevant links to official resources on medical documentation standards. This not only adds credibility but also provides additional value to the reader.

Therapeutic Communication: Building Understanding and Trust

Moving beyond information exchange, therapeutic communication aims to empower patients. Open-ended questions, active listening, and validation of feelings are crucial components. To boost SEO, real-life examples or case studies can be integrated, showcasing how therapeutic communication positively impacts patient outcomes.

Technology-Mediated Communication: Bridging the Distance

The modernization of healthcare through technology introduces unique challenges in communication. Nurses must adeptly navigate telemedicine and electronic health records, ensuring patients comprehend technical procedures. Utilizing video conferencing features and addressing privacy concerns contribute to effective communication. The article can be concluded with a recap of the diverse communication modes and their collective importance.


In the dynamic world of nursing, communication stands as the cornerstone of compassionate and effective care. Each mode plays a vital role in the choice of words, nonverbal cues, precise documentation, therapeutic engagement, or navigating technological landscapes. By mastering these aspects, nurses can truly bridge the gap between understanding patient needs and delivering optimal care.


How does effective communication benefit nursing practice?

Effective communication ensures an accurate understanding of patient needs, fostering trust and improving overall patient outcomes.

Why is nonverbal communication important in healthcare?

Nonverbal cues, such as body language, contribute to creating a positive and reassuring environment for patients.

How can nurses use technology for better communication?

Nurses can leverage technology for virtual interactions, video conferencing, and efficient management of patient records.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice.

Name -Parika Parika holds a Master's in Nursing and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Nursing. In addition to her clinical experience, Parika has also served as a nursing instructor for the past 10 years, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for the nursing profession.


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