In order for any institution to function properly, it is necessary for the staff to communicate properly. This is even more important in a healthcare facility where lives are at stake. Since nurses usually hold a hospital together, it is essential that they have a smooth communication channel. Lack of communication can have severe consequences. If patient files, medicines or schedules are not communicated properly, this would filter down as negligent patient care. Communication with co-workers is particularly important when handing over as the nurse who is taking over needs to know every little detail about the patients in their care, from their medicine schedule to their diet.
When people think of effective communication, they often consider what they say and how they say it, but verbal communication is only part of the equation. Body language plays an equally important role in making a connection with patients and fellow health care workers. If a nurse looks at her watch or makes very little eye contact when talking to a patient, he may feel she's not taking an interest in his case or that he's imposing on her by asking questions or discussing his symptoms. When talking to co-workers, similar behaviors may be interpreted as a sign of disrespect. It's important that nurses consider non-verbal cues, taking the time to make eye contact, smile and stop what they're doing to focus their attention on the other person.