Communication in context: developing a professional identity

Ralph, Nicholas (2015) Communication in context: developing a professional identity. In: Building professional nursing communication. Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-19. ISBN 978-1-107-47046-0

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Abstract

Communication refers to the act of imparting or exchanging information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium (Arnold & Boggs, 2013). Because it is a routine part of life, it is easy for the importance of effective communication to be forgotten. However, the benefits of effective communication have been demonstrated in every aspect of modern life, such as enhanced safety in aviation (Leonard, Graham & Bonacum, 2004), improved business management practices (Kernbach, Eppler & Bresciani, 2014), and instant, accurate information on developing world events (Veil, Buehner & Palenchar, 2011).

In nursing and healthcare, effective communication is necessary for delivering safe nursing care as it reduces the risk of harm to the patient, enhances clinical outcomes, and encourages reflective practice among clinicians (Haynes et al. 2011; Lin et al. 2013). Poor communication is known to affect the quality and safety of nursing care delivery (Hughes & Mitchell, 2008; Mills, Neily & Dunn, 2008). Throughout this textbook, you will be guided through concepts that are integral to effective communication. However, in this chapter we explore the person at the centre of all the communication you will experience as a Registered Nurse – you. In developing an awareness of the contexts of communication, it is important to address the role of self, professional identity and professional awareness. Having a strong sense of your
professional identity is a useful foundation for effectively communicating throughout your nursing career. Furthermore, scoping the unique characteristics you bring to nursing will help you understand the similarly unique perspectives of others you may study or work with, or care for. You will soon realise that developing your professional identity and becoming self-aware is necessary to function ethically and professionally in the nursing role. Before long, you will likely face situations that may encroach on your personal values and demand an ethical and professional response, however difficult that may be.

Navigating the complexities of the healthcare environment is always challenging, whether communicating with patients to assess the extent of their condition; or communicating with a grieving family whose loved one is dying. Developing your professional identity through improved self-awareness will enhance your ability to:
- communicate ethically and professionally;
- articulate your motivations in nursing;
- employ strategies for reflective practice; and
- heighten your understanding of the nursing profession.

Understanding the nursing profession will also be useful for establishing insight into how it communicates its defining features, both as a means of identifying its arrangement and hierarchies, and as a way of highlighting values inherent to the profession of nursing. Throughout the chapter, we will explore concepts and contexts that are relevant to developing your professional identity both as a nursing student and a Registered Nurse.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Multiple copies of the print version held in the USQ Library at call no. 610.73 Bui.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2016 04:46
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2017 04:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: communication; nursing; healthcare
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/27467

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