Reviews

Patient & Person: Interpersonal Skills in Nursing

The fifth edition of this Australian textbook provides an overview of the main issues in theory and practice for nurses wanting to optimise their interpersonal communications with patients.

The fifth edition of this Australian textbook provides an overview of the main issues in theory and practice for nurses wanting to optimise their interpersonal communications with patients.

The first part introduces interpersonal skills and the nurse-patient relationship, with the role of the nurse as a therapeutic agent set in the context of different cultural norms.

The suggested activities raise questions about Australian culture and consider ‘indigenous Australians’ health beliefs’, but these can be readily transferred to the UK cultural context.

The second part devotes a chapter to each of the communication skills: listening, understanding, exploring, comforting, supporting and enabling. Each chapter is followed by a reference list drawn from the international literature, with relevant research papers covered in detail via text boxes.

The final part examines these skills in the context of the clinical environment. Topics covered include transitions through health and illness, challenging encounters with patients, and building a supportive workplace. This last section highlights that nursing is a stressful occupation, and that these stresses can have a negative effect on nurse-patient interactions.

This is a costly book for individual nurses, but a valuable resource so it may be worth grouping together to buy a copy.

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