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Communication in Palliative Care: An Essential Competency for Nurses 

Communication in Palliative Care: An Essential Competency for Nurses
Communication in Palliative Care: An Essential Competency for Nurses

Constance M. Dahlin

, and Elaine Wittenberg

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date: 05 August 2020

Communication is a learned skill that establishes the nurse–patient relationship; it is composed of 20% verbal and 80% nonverbal characteristics. The art of nursing communication includes listening, silence, presence, and therapeutic use of self to facilitate a patient- and family-centered process. Nursing communication includes gathering and imparting information and providing support and reassurance, as dictated by the individual needs of patients and families. Nurses have a direct role in difficult conversations such as advance care planning, delivery of bad news or poor prognosis, or discussing the transition to hospice and palliative care. This chapter discusses in detail the techniques and approaches to good communication in palliative care nursing.

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