Skilled communication with patients and their families regarding patients’ care, trajectory, and expected outcomes is an advocacy role for nurses at the bedside. Being able to bridge the gap between what is said by members of the interprofessional team and what patients and their families understand is an opportunity for nurses to lead the way in patient-centered care. This is true during patient rounds, family conferences, or bedside communication. Do not assume that someone else will facilitate these difficult conversations with patients and families. It is important for all nurses to become excellent communicators in order to help patients and their families.

  • Identify a colleague (this can be anyone on the interprofessional team) who demonstrates skilled communication with patients and families.

  • Observe your colleague’s interactions to identify how they listen and respond to questions

  • Note how your colleague learns what the patient and...

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