How a Nurse Manager is Reviewing Concepts Related to Organizational Communication

Organizational communication is the exchange of information between people within and outside a health care organization. It is a core component of sound relationships, collaboration and co-operation, which are essential aspects of professional nursing practice. Effective organizational communication in nursing can enhance patient outcomes, team performance, and job satisfaction. In this article, we will explore some of the concepts that a nurse manager is reviewing related to organizational communication.

Communication Skills for Nurses

Communication skills for nurses are essential but may be difficult to master. They include verbal and nonverbal communication skills, active listening skills, and patient teach-back techniques.

  • Verbal communication skills involve speaking with clarity, accuracy, and honesty, using appropriate language and tone for the audience, and avoiding technical jargon or condescending terms.
  • Nonverbal communication skills involve using facial expressions, eye contact, body language, gestures, posture, and tone of voice to convey messages and emotions, and to create rapport with patients and colleagues.
  • Active listening skills involve paying attention to what the speaker is saying, showing interest and empathy, asking open-ended questions, paraphrasing or summarizing what was said, and providing feedback or confirmation.
  • Patient teach-back techniques involve asking patients to repeat back or demonstrate what they have learned or understood from the nurse’s instructions or education, to ensure comprehension and adherence.

According to IntechOpe, nurses who take the time to listen and understand the concerns of each of their patients are better prepared to address issues as they arise, resulting in better patient outcomes. On the other hand, poor communication or lack of communication in health care can lead to misunderstandings, medical errors, and reduced patient satisfaction.

Communication Models for Nurses

Communication models are frameworks that help explain how communication works and what factors influence it. They can help nurses understand the communication process and identify potential barriers or challenges. Some of the common communication models for nurses are:

  • The Shannon-Weaver model: This model describes communication as a linear process of sending and receiving messages through a channel, with potential noise or interference that can distort the message.
  • The Schramm model: This model describes communication as a circular process of encoding and decoding messages between two people who share a field of common experience.
  • The Berlo model: This model describes communication as a complex process influenced by four factors: the source (sender), the message, the channel, and the receiver.
  • The Lasswell model: This model describes communication as a process of answering five questions: who says what in which channel to whom with what effect.

According to USAHS, having good communication models can help nurses improve their communication skills by providing them with tools to analyze their own and others’ communication behaviors, and to adapt their communication strategies according to the situation.

Communication Barriers for Nurses

Communication barriers are anything that prevents effective communication from taking place. They can be physical, psychological, emotional, cultural, linguistic, or organizational. Some of the common communication barriers for nurses are:

  • Physical barriers: These include noise, distance, time constraints, environmental distractions, or technical problems that interfere with the transmission or reception of messages.
  • Psychological barriers: These include stress, anxiety, fear, anger, prejudice, bias, or stereotypes that affect the sender’s or receiver’s attitude or perception of the message.
  • Emotional barriers: These include lack of empathy, trust, or rapport that affect the sender’s or receiver’s feelings or emotions toward the message or the person.
  • Cultural barriers: These include differences in values, beliefs, norms, customs, or behaviors that affect the sender’s or receiver’s interpretation or understanding of the message.
  • Linguistic barriers: These include differences in languages, dialects, accents, vocabulary, grammar, or expressions that affect the sender’s or receiver’s ability to communicate clearly and accurately.
  • Organizational barriers: These include hierarchy, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations that affect the sender’s or receiver’s access to information or channels of communication.

According to PSQH, leaders and managers at all levels of the organization should promote patient-centered communication as a requirement for providing safe, high-quality care. They should also create an environment of open communication by modeling appropriate behavior, setting expectations, and investing in support systems within the structure of the organization.

Communication Strategies for Nurses

Communication strategies are techniques that help overcome communication barriers and enhance communication effectiveness. They can be applied at different stages of the communication process: before, during, or after communicating. Some of the common communication strategies for nurses are:

  • Before communicating: These include planning ahead, setting goals, choosing the right channel, and preparing the message.
  • During communicating: These include using clear and simple language, using nonverbal cues, using active listening skills, using patient teach-back techniques, and providing feedback or confirmation.
  • After communicating: These include evaluating the communication outcome, reflecting on the communication experience, and seeking feedback or improvement.

According to HPU, nurses should use communication strategies that are appropriate for the context, the purpose, and the audience of the communication. They should also be flexible and adaptable to changing situations and needs.


Organizational communication in nursing is a vital skill that can affect patient care, teamwork, and job satisfaction. A nurse manager who is reviewing concepts related to organizational communication should be aware of the communication skills, models, barriers, and strategies that can help improve communication effectiveness and efficiency. By applying these concepts in practice, a nurse manager can foster a culture of communication excellence and quality improvement in the organization.

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