Nursing is a collaborative job. The quality of patient care depends entirely on how a nursing team works together, including travel and staff nurses. There are many vital aspects, including coordination, situational awareness, and open communication with the entire team. If you want to improve your communication skills before your next nursing assignment, here are some helpful tips, tools, and ideas you can use today.

Utilize Communication Tools

Your facility may have apps or software that they use to enhance communication, so it’s a good idea to become an expert. If not, it’s okay to work with your team to utilize other technology to improve communication across the department. One such tool is TeamSTEPPS, which is available for free.

Understand Situational Awareness

Situational awareness refers to being constantly aware of your surroundings so that you can recognize problems and act immediately if something changes. Nursing is a complex job, so it can be easy to get caught up in specifics, so increasing your situational awareness will help you locate problems when they happen and take action.

Improve Patient Handoffs

Patients will often be in the hospital across multiple nursing shifts. That’s why coordinating patient handoffs is essential. Always communicate with the nurse taking on the next shift, so they know what’s happened. If you’re taking the handoff, be attentive and ask questions. A popular acronym for this communication is SBAR:

  • Situation
  • Background
  • Assessment
  • Recommendation

Adjust to Your Audience

Everyone you communicate within your job as a nurse will require different levels of communication. For example, physicians will need specifics about the patient’s condition and any changes. Other nurses and technicians or assistants will want to know this information and more, including tasks that need to be completed or any special tips that can help.

Communicate with Patients and Families

Talking with patients and family members also requires another set of communication skills. You have to assess each patient differently and shift your communication style depending on their understanding of what’s happening. Always introduce yourself to the patient and their family. Pay attention to their body language. And be sure to give them your full attention when they’re telling you something.


Are you looking for your next great nursing job? Contact the recruiters at Fortus Healthcare Resources to see what we’re working on today.

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