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Posted 11 months ago
Communication in Nursing: It’s All about Vibes
As she recounted the day’s events, she said to me, “I really see how powerful communication in nursing is and I felt so differently with the responses I received when I turned in my survey today... I truly understand the importance of feelings and how using different words and body language have an impact on how you feel.”
She continued to tell me how one supervisor said to her, “I knew you would come through, you always do.”
This statement reinforced that supervisor’s confidence in her work and her value. That is truly significant and she felt good. A few seconds later, another supervisor said, “Wow, you really waited until the last minute to get this submitted.”
Just after feeling good about her accomplishment and value, another person 'burst her bubble', so to speak. I am sure as you are reading this you could feel the difference in the two responses my friend received. Since my friend knows how important it is to mind her vibe (mood and feeling) she chose to focus on the response of the first supervisor and focus on the fact that she is proud of her work.
Feeling and learning
It’s all about vibes. How did that other person make you feel? Will you want to be around them? Do they make you feel good or bad? How important is it to present things in a manner with a positive tone? What about the words, do they give you good feelings? When you do interact with others at work who may sometimes give you a negative feeling, can you deliberately change your feelings to positive? That is to say, can you go from a negative to a positive vibe? How do you do this?
We are in charge of our vibes and we need to deliberately pay attention to how we feel and learn the tools to stay on the positive side most of the time. This is important for our well-being and it is important for a good nursing environment. Having a positive atmosphere truly does make a difference.
So, what are you saying to yourself when you are having a stressful day? What are you saying to colleagues, patients and their significant others? You can say the same thing in two different ways and can get either a positive feeling or a negative feeling, depending on your word choice and how you choose to look at something. This is especially important in health care.
What kind of vibe are you presenting to your patients? What kind of vibe are you presenting to your colleagues? What kind of vibe are you presenting to your family, to your friends and other people you come into contact with every day?
Ask yourself, “How am I feeling?” If the answer is not the one you want, then ask yourself how can you change your words and thoughts to be positive so you feel better?
Here are some examples that will get you started in the right direction:
Let’s say you woke up later than expected and now are hurrying to get ready. Instead of getting frustrated and anxious and thinking, “Wow, I am so upset that I am going to be late and now have to rush to get ready,” get into the habit of saying positive things to yourself such as that you needed a few extra minutes of rest and know you will make it on time to work.
When a patient appears anxious and is demanding, instead of getting upset and thinking to yourself, “I always get the difficult patients and now I am going to feel even more stressed!”, instead say, “I know that I am a great nurse and I am great at helping others feel calm.”
We can only control our own vibes, so it is important to treat yourself well so you feel good. What have you done for fun lately? After reading this article, I suggest you do something that makes you feel good such as taking a walk, petting your dog, watching a funny movie or whatever brings good feelings. Keep a healthy, positive vibe and you will have others telling you that they like being around you.
As nurses, we are always giving to others. Take the opportunity to give to yourself as well. My message is to mind your nursing communication vibe. Pay attention to how you are feeling and if it is not the way you want it to be, now you have some tools to change it! Wishing you positive vibes!