01.01 Confidence in Communication

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Included In This Lesson

Study Tools



  1. Communication involves speaking and listening
  2. Confidence comes from practice and experience
  3. Feeling comfortable = feeling confident

Nursing Points


  1. Reasons you might not feel confident
    1. English is not your first language
      1. Practice key phrases that you will be saying a lot so you will feel confident
      2. Write down everything you want to say so you can prepare
      3. Speak slowly and enunciate
        1. E-nun-ci-ate
          1. Break the word down
    2. New unit /new nurse
      1. Everyone was new at one time so  keep that in mind and take a deep breath
      2. Observe how the nurses interact and communicate to find what works for you
      3. Ask questions
      4. Remember you are a professional too and feel good about that
  2. Listen to the person you are trying to communicate with to best respond
    1. Listen and state back what you think are hearing the patient convey for verification
      1. Makes them feel confidence in you


I am going to help you understand what it means to have confidence in communication and how to be successful in achieving this.

Communication is huge in healthcare and so important. Being confident in communication is a big piece to being successful in this. So first a few basic items. Communication is not just talking to someone but also listening to whoever it is a patient, nurse, provider, or anyone else. You must listen so you can communicate back effectively and be confident in doing this. If someone has just told her a whole story but you weren’t really listening and then they ask your opinion you aren’t going to be very confident in whatever you say. So it is important to listen. Confidence is going to come from a lot of practice and getting experience in communication. Getting practice will help you feel comfortable which will help you feel confident. Now let’s look at some reasons why someone might not have this confidence.

Some reasons you might not feel confident are that english is not your first language or you are a new nurse and or on a new unit. So if English is a second language it will be really beneficial to practice key phrases that you will be saying a lot so you will feel confident. The more you practice saying these phrases the better. You must also speak slowly and enunciate. So e-nun-ci-ate say it slowly and clearly. Speaking slowly and really breaking the word down. If English is not your first language it can help the patient to be able to understand better. Nothing is worse than when you explain a whole lot of items and then the person asks you to repeat it. So write everything down so you can be prepared. Now let’s look at those that are new to the unit or a new nurse.

For those that are new to the unit or a new nurse remember that at some point everyone was new so keep that in mind and take a deep breath. Feel confident that you are a professional too. Observe how the nurses interact to find what works for you and ask questions. If you are needing to feel confident in talking to a doctor ask the nurses that have been there what their experience has been. Get their advice or opinion. When I was a new nurse and had to call the doctors the first few times I would ask other nurses all the time what they like to know or be told. You know how much detail do they need? I would literally practice in my head or in the bathroom before I would call. It was always so much more stressful in my head and then totally fine after I made the call. Utilize the other nurses that have worked there, they know what to expect because they have built that relationship. Now when I have new nurses precepting with me I have them practice what they are going to say to me before they make the phone call. Just to make it less stressful.

So as I said before listening is a big piece of communicating and being confident in communicating. So just listen to the person you are trying to communicate with to best respond. It can be helpful to state back what you think you are hearing the patient convey for verification. This will help you be confident that you are aware and make them feel confidence in you. I have done several Noah’s children cases at my facility, which is a pediatric hospice and palliative care organization. We sometimes meet with the families prior to communicate with them about their needs and their wishes. I will listen and then repeat what they are saying. For example I say, “I am hearing you say you want the baby immediately placed on you with only oxygen if needed so you can have more time with your child”. I’ve had parents say after our meetings that they feel confident that I understand what they truly want so doing this allows them to be confident in me. I am then comfortable in the situation because of this communication.

Alright so just some key points to review how to be confident in communication. Practice! So those key phrases that you will say a lot, practice saying them. Write down what you need to convey and practice saying it and most importantly practice it by speaking slowly and enunciate. Remember enunciated is saying the word slowly and broken down. So e-nun-ci-ate. Remember the more you practice the more comfortable you will be which means more confident.

Make sure you work on practicing key phrases, be an active listener, and when you practice speak slowly and enunciate. Now, go out and be your best selves today. And, as always, happy nursing.