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Communication as a Moral Caring in Nursing
Faith Eric
Chamberlain College of Nursing
NR 101: Transitions in Nursing
January 2015

Communication as a Moral Caring in Nursing
Introduction
Nursing remains practical and hands-on, however, it is also strengthened by conceptual and theoretical knowledge applied artfully and scientifically. The practice of advance nursing requires a higher level of knowledge and skill, but it is still built upon the fundamental moral commitment of caring in nursing (Sumner, 2004, p.4). Communication plays a key role in the caring in nursing as it is the interaction that exists between the nurse and the patient. This paper will cover some levels of communication that influences the caring in nursing. These levels include the personal self of the nurse and patient and the professional self of the nurse and the illness self of the patient. The Personal Self of the Nurse and Patient

Hernandez (1988) “A nurse is an ordinary human being who is called upon to be the professional carer and he/she will bring a personal style to the practice”.(p. 23) This means that nurses just like everyone else including the patient have their individual vulnerability and bias that they bring to practice.

In the personal life of the nurse, he/she tries to hide that vulnerability or fear of what her encounter with the patient would be while attending to the patient. Sometimes her emotions, biases, and intuition may affect the way the nurse communicates with the patient. On the other hand, the patient, being in an unfamiliar environment, become concerned that the nurse may not understand what he/she is going through. Therefore he/she feels obligated to protect his/herself. The patient may be viewed by the nurse as being not compliant, while the patient may see the nurse as being inconsiderate. As time goes on, all it may take to move this level of interaction to the next level of communication is an act of compassion shown by the nurse to the patient. For instance, it may just be the nurse bringing an extra blanket to keep the patient warm that would make the patient feel comfortable, and would also make the patient know that the nurse is there to care for and not to intimidate him/her. The Professional Self of the Nurse to the Illness Self of the Patient

This is the level of communication or interaction where both the nurse and patient have established that common ground of trust and are comfortable around each other. The nurse feels fully responsible for the patient and starts to utilize the evidence based practice to execute her job. The patient on the other hand, feels more comfortable and accepts the nurse as his/her carer.

According to Sumner (2012) Communication as a Moral Caring in Nursing, the characteristics that make up a professional nurse are factual or theoretical, practical, and experimental knowledge. She further explained that a professional nurse at this level understands his/her obligation towards patient care (p. 23). This means that at this level the nurse let go of her biases and takes up the ethical aspect of his/her profession, while the patient trust that the nurse is capable of making him/her feel better. Conclusion

Communication as an inevitable aspect of caring in nursing goes a long way in establishing trust in the care of the patient. That is why Sumner (2012) defined it as always being bi-directional between the nurse and the patient. This paper discussed that the personal self of the nurse and the patient as the level of communication where both individuals try to protect or hide their vulnerability towards each other, leading them to misunderstand each other. The other level of communication discussed was the professional self to the illness self of the patient as the level of communication in caring in nursing where the nurse and patient are completely comfortable around each other. At this level there is trust from the patient and evidence-based...
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