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Communicating effectively using the TALKS mnemonic

27 June 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 12

Nurses are only too aware of the importance of communication and the impact that ineffective communication can have on workplace culture, psychological wellbeing and, ultimately, patient safety and the patient experience.

Patterson et al (2012) argued that the root cause of many of the issues we encounter is how we communicate when there is disagreement. The quality of our relationships at work, specifically with our managers, has a significant impact on our overall wellbeing (Griffeth et al, 2000). The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2018)Code has effective communication interweaved within each of the four domains:

Nurses have a professional obligation to communicate effectively with colleagues to ensure that we work cooperatively to preserve the safety of patients and to do this using the principles of honesty, accuracy and the promotion of an environment where we share feedback constructively (NMC, 2018). The key to an effective encounter in any aspect of our lives is empathy and respect. If we are able to apply key, effective principles when dealing with issues, significant improvements in relationships and, ultimately, patient safety and organisational performance is possible.

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