Communication in the Healthcare Profession


Effective patient care is based on communication, which is necessary to provide patients with physical and psychological comfort. Therapeutic communication is at the core of any successful nursing practice as it provides opportunities for building trust and professional development. The key components of nurse-patient communication are empathy, attention, and active listening. By mastering this technique, the nurse will be able to successfully convey information, receive relevant answers, successfully care for the patient and promote a healthy lifestyle. Common communication between medical professionals increases the chances of effective completion of treatment. Well-coordinated teamwork based on effective communication ensures patient safety and the highest possible level of care.

Definition and Goals of Therapeutic Communication

Therapeutic communication is a technique that involves face-to-face communication to provide physical and psychological care to the patient, achieving the highest level of medical help. Sharma & Gupta (2021) emphasizes that initially, therapeutic communication was defined as a means of verbal and non-verbal communication between the doctor and the patient. Initially, therapeutic communication was aimed at overcoming the emotional stress of patients (Sharma & Gupta, 2021). It is often the nurse’s job to establish therapeutic communication in order to be able to provide emotional support.

Established positive relationships will provide a higher chance that the patient will understand the medical information provided to them and will follow the treatment plan and recommendations. Bradley University (2021) highlights the critical importance of therapeutic communication in building the nurse-patient relationship. According to the author of the article, the benefits go beyond ensuring the comfort of the patient’s stay in the hospital. Bradley University (2021) emphasizes that communication will help the patient understands the information provided to them, which will ensure that medical recommendations are followed. Therapeutic communication provides a better understanding of the health of patients and helps more effectively solve emerging problems. Bradley University (2021) states that therapeutic communication is more effective in dealing with stress and anxiety in patients than traditional approaches. Therapeutic communication skills are essential for every medical professional who talks to patients. The style of medical communication should go beyond greeting patients and ascertaining general well-being. Communication should be integrated into the therapeutic plan and help improve the treatment outcomes.

The main goals of therapeutic communication are to establish trust, develop an understanding of medical problems in patients, provide psychological assistance, establish a strong connection with the patient, and grow professionally as a medical worker. Patients are much more comfortable if their doctors and nurses are friendly and empathetic when discussing health issues. Patients must, first of all, trust the medical team in order for the treatment to be effective. Otherwise, patients will not be able to fully communicate important information and will not be able to feel relaxed. Therapeutic communication promotes trust and empathy, which is a key aspect of the nurse-patient relationship. Nurses who excel at building patient relationships are professionals who strive to grow and develop. Therapeutic communication is a means to continuous learning, helping nurses to raise awareness. Communicating with a diverse patient base helps nurses become more empathetic and aware of the individual challenges patients face.

Another important goal of therapeutic communication is the management of the patient’s behavior. Staying in the hospital is often associated with increased stress, and patients do not always agree to comply with the requirements of medical staff. Family members can exhibit problematic behaviors, creating barriers to recovery. Nurses cannot always deal with problem behavior on their own, but therapeutic communication can play an important role in patient’s actions and reassurance for patients and their families. A nurse with communication skills can adapt to the situation and help keep everyone involved safe.

Therapeutic communication is key to helping patients feel safe and comfortable while they are in the hospital. This way of communication can be used as a means of improving health. If the patient trusts the nurse, they can heed valuable advice. Nurses can use this opportunity to inform patients about their current health and well-being and what they can do to live healthier lives. Finally, the most important goal of therapeutic communication is to establish a connection. Health professionals who are mindful of the main goals of therapeutic communication are often able to form strong bonds and help each other, and the patient will always feel secure.

Key Components of Therapeutic Communication

Therapeutic communication has several key components that are equally important in establishing a trusting relationship with the patient. The first component involves professional intimacy, which means being close to the patient to provide support. The second component is power, since a hierarchical relationship must be built between the medical professional and the patient, contributing to the patient’s understanding of the need to follow the instructions of professionals. Empathy is the third important component, since it is empathy that forms the basis of quality medical care. Empathy is the ability to perceive the client’s meanings and feelings and convey that understanding to the client. When a nurse develops and uses this ability, clients tend to feel much better since their feelings are understood. Respect is the fourth necessary component, since only relationships based on respect can achieve success. Finally, the fifth component of a secure therapeutic relationship is trust, without which an effective interaction cannot be achieved. In order for the patient to have a sense of trust, the medical professional must show interest, listen to the client’s words, be consistent in actions, explain their intentions in understandable language.

Actions that Promote or Block Therapeutic Communication

There is a set of effective techniques that serve to maintain therapeutic communication. Gentle affirmation of the desired behavior can help win the patient’s trust. Honest treatment, without fear of asking questions and clarifications, will allow the nurse to establish a respectful relationship in which the patient is more likely to share their experiences and problems. Asking open questions helps to capture the patient’s thoughts and perceptions, as well as to understand the level of awareness of the problem and the thinking ability. Drawing up a joint action plan aimed at the rapid recovery of the patient will help convey good intentions to the patient. General remarks, with the patient’s full freedom of expression, will allow the conversation to be directed in the right way, while emphasizing the patient’s sense of significance. Active listening is a key important activity, as it helps both collect the most information and make it clear to the patient that their opinion and vision is important.

In addition to actions that positively affect the relationship with the patient, a number of mistakes can block this communication. False assurances and deception of the patient can permanently contribute to the client’s loss of trust in the medical staff. This will lead to poor treatment outcomes and failure to follow prescriptions. non-acceptance or downplaying of the patient’s problems makes them feel misunderstood, hinders the establishment of trusting communication. Changing the subject and refusing to talk about the patient’s feelings disrupts the relationship, making sympathetic dialogue impossible.

How Therapeutic Communication Differs from General Communication

Therapeutic communication has much in common with ordinary communication but differs in its focus and goals. If ordinary communication implies the equal status of participants during communication, then in therapeutic communication, the patient is a more important party than the medical professional. Ordinary communication often stops if the principles of respect for the participants are violated. Therapeutic communication should, on the other hand, be reinforced when the patient expresses distrust or impolite treatment. It must be remembered that during the act of therapeutic communication, the patient is in a vulnerable position and take this with indulgence.

Therapeutic and conventional communication may have different goals for the interaction. Ordinary communication may also aim to support and empathize with the interlocutor, but this is not the direct responsibility of one of the parties. The goal of therapeutic communication is to improve the health of the patient, which is the direct responsibility of medical professionals. Chichirez & Purcărea (2018) emphasize that communication within the medical system takes place in a complex environment where roles and significance can be reversed. The position of two subjects of communication cannot be equal, as in personal communication. Relations in the medical field are established between members of different social groups in terms of the distribution of power, intentions and guidelines (Chichirez & Purcărea, 2018). The level of responsibility for the results of this treatment varies critically. The doctor has a much higher status in communication with the patient because the medical professional has the necessary skills and a greater understanding of the situation (Chichirez & Purcărea, 2018). Communication between the patient and the medical professional is non-symmetrical; the patient is a deliberately passive element. In simple interpersonal communication, roles can be equal or distributed on other principles.

Why Good General Communication is Essential in the Healthcare

Not only the therapeutic relationship but general communication is critical to teamwork with fellow nurses and professionals from other disciplines. Communication with patients allows nurses to be prepared to resolve communication problems with colleagues and improve overall skills. Chichirez & Purcărea (2018) emphasize that the relationship of the medical professional with the patient is 40% of therapeutic success. Sharma & Gupta (2021) point out that the process of medical communication brings various benefits: improved diagnostic accuracy, better decision-making, and determining the right therapeutic measures. Lack of or poor communication in healthcare provokes misunderstandings that lead to patients not following directions and medical colleagues making mistakes. Interpersonal skills affect the quality of decisions made, as well as the level of motivation of patients to follow treatment protocols and colleagues to achieve the desired clinical results.

How Good General Communication Relates to Patient Safety

Good overall communication within a healthcare organization is essential to patient safety. Medical errors are often the result of misunderstandings due to lack of communication. Patient protection requires an organizational culture that encourages development and respect among colleagues. Communication throughout a patient’s interaction with the healthcare system, including during diagnosis, treatment, and transition to other care settings, helps ensure that patients and family members are effectively involved in their care and that informed decisions are made. Communication with colleagues reduces the chances of interrupting the continuity of care, and promotes relationship-building and understanding.

Good communication with both patients and medical colleagues is the simplest and most effective measure of patient protection. Communication helps avoid conflicts and work together to ensure the health of the patient. Only teamwork can contribute to the provision of care to the patient and, accordingly, their safety. Burgener (2017) highlights the importance of recognizing poor communication as it is a major cause of medical errors. Burgener (2017) emphasizes that hospitals need to focus on employee engagement practices to ensure patient safety. One of the most effective methods, the simulation-based interprofessional communication program, has demonstrated an improvement in the perception of interprofessional learning and increased communication effectiveness (Burgener, 2017). Lack of interprofessional communication between physicians and nurses, insufficient interaction between patient and staff, and absence of effective transfer of nurses lead to a poor patient experience and affect both patient safety and clinical outcomes.


Healthcare communication is critical to provide a positive treatment outcome. The therapeutic relationship between the medical staff and the patient makes it possible to understand the patient’s emotional state, address the goals and methods of treatment, and provide psychological assistance in resolving stress. Therapeutic communication has proven to be effective as a way to subtly oblige the patient to comply with medical prescriptions. Healthcare communication can reduce medical errors and ensure patient safety. With proper interaction of colleagues, it is possible to organize teamwork, the main goal of which will be the well-being of the patient. Lack of effective communication puts the health of the patient at risk and undermines the basic principles of the work of a medical professional.


Burgener, A. M. (2017). Enhancing Communication to Improve Patient Safety and to Increase Patient Satisfaction. The Health Care Manager, 36(3), 238-243.

Bradley University. (2021). Therapeutic Communication in Nursing. Bradley University Online.

Chichirez, C. M., & Purcărea, V. L. (2018). Interpersonal communication in healthcare. Journal of medicine and life, 11(2), 119-122. Web.

Sharma, N., & Gupta, V. (2021). Therapeutic Communication. [Updated 2022]. Europe PMC [Internet].

Cite this paper

Select a referencing style


AssignZen. (2023, August 13). Communication in the Healthcare Profession.

Work Cited

"Communication in the Healthcare Profession." AssignZen, 13 Aug. 2023,

1. AssignZen. "Communication in the Healthcare Profession." August 13, 2023.


AssignZen. "Communication in the Healthcare Profession." August 13, 2023.


AssignZen. 2023. "Communication in the Healthcare Profession." August 13, 2023.


AssignZen. (2023) 'Communication in the Healthcare Profession'. 13 August.

Click to copy

This report on Communication in the Healthcare Profession was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Removal Request

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on Asignzen, request the removal.