It is not merely enough to identify the daunting nature of communication challenges in nursing. The training should have strategies in place to ensure that the nurses are trained and equipped to meat the challenges of their career. This will call for an evaluation of present training and practice of nursing career in the light of significant literature on the subject. This will naturally result in the need for qualitative changes in the area of training and practice of nursing profession.
It is good to have an overview of the nature of human communication to understand its broad implications in successful health care practice and its particular importance in mental health care. All health care involves an appreciable amount of communication. There are three main components in the process of communication. They are the sender, the message and the receiver and the process is usually a two way process with the sender and receiver intermittently changing their roles between them to respond to the messages. In the process of communication the message that is developed in the mind of the sender is coded into a sound, letter, picture or gesture and transmitted. The message is understood if the receiver is able to decode the message and able to grasp the intended meaning of the sender (Ellis 1995). The process of human communication is very complex as it involves both verbal and non-verbal aspects. Now the practice of health care is exercised in a multilingual and multicultural milieu and the demands of modern health care task can be daunting and nurses need to be well trained to face the challenges of our complex world. The verbal aspects of human communication are very well understood to a large extent and it can be acquired by the
proficiency in the language used in a place. When it comes to the non-verbal aspects of communication we enter an area of great risk because most non-verbal communication is linked to culture, religion, sex, ethnicity etc. Even if the nurse attains the daunting task of adequate language skills in one or more languages it is very difficult to learn the cultural aspects of communication which are acquired from infancy by a process of unconscious imitation in a community. It is desirable t o chalk out the gateways and barriers to human communication by identifying the important aspects of communication.
Essential Elements in Therapeutic Communication
Communication is an intricate, continuous, interactive process and forms the foundation of genuine interpersonal relationships. It includes verbal and non-verbal ingredients. Modern communication heavily depends on technology and uses a wide range of media in addition to the familiar face-to-face interactions. Effectiveness in group interactions is also called for in today's communication requirements. Apart from the visible communications skills, in the interdisciplinary work scenario, the communicator should have the qualities needed for a team player, as health care is becoming a collaborative exercise involving many
stakeholders. From the days nursing came to be practiced as a systematic discipline, the realization that communication is at the core of health care was