Communication with patients is widely considered to be among the pillars of successful patient care. Most people believe that effective communication is essential for nurses to ensure positive patient outcomes and promote faster recovery. Therefore, many researchers and authors have sought to determine and outline the key principles of patient-nurse communication. Still, the research community uses the scientific approach to evaluate communication patterns and interventions.
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Marcus Engel, on the other hand, presents a unique view on patient-nurse communication from the patient’s perspective. In his book “I’m Here: Compassionate Communication in Patient Care,” Engel (2010) describes his personal experience with patient care and explains positive and negative communication patterns that can affect patient health.
The purpose of the book is to draw the attention of nurses and other health professionals to the importance of compassionate communication. I believe that this goal is relevant to the contemporary healthcare environment. Indeed, communication with patients in many institutions tends to be quite formal; nurses usually care for several patients at once, which is why it is difficult for them to utilize a personal approach for each patient.
However, for patients, nurses are the key point of contact among health professionals. Engel (2010) shows that nurses spend more time with patients than doctors and other medical professionals. Therefore, for patients staying in the hospital, communication with nurses becomes very important.
In order to convey his main idea, Engel (2010) chooses to describe his personal experience of recovering from a car accident that affected his sight. The writer admits that the recovery process was difficult and full of unexpected events; however, seeing compassion and genuine care from Nurse Barb helped him to feel at ease even at his most difficult moments. By sharing his view on compassionate care in nursing through a personal story, the author gains the attention of a wide audience while at the same time establishing a clear link between the patient’s personal troubles and his or her path to recovery.
The author describes his journey to recovery in moderate detail, focusing more on the emotional side of the events. Such an approach allows Engel (2010) to stress the importance of the support provided by Nurse Barb. In essence, Nurse Barb becomes the ideal of compassionate nursing care that is advocated in work.
Engel (2010) created a book that does not fit into the format of academic nursing literature but still captures the professional nurses’ minds. The author outlines his ideas in a thoughtful, refreshing, and deeply personal manner, which is empowering for the readers. A minor drawback of the work is that it does not provide a specific framework for applying compassionate communication to nursing care.
However, I believe that it adds value to the work, as it allows readers who are not professional nurses or medical specialists to be compelled by the book, too. Engel’s (2010) exploration of Nurse Barb’s behavior and communication patterns serves the purpose of outlining the key characteristics of compassionate communication, whereas a personal perspective offered by the author shows its impact on the patients.
Overall, I believe that Engel’s (2010) work is important and useful, as it addresses the important topic of compassionate communication with patients. By writing from the patient’s point of view, Engel (2010) is able to highlight the impact of compassionate communication and explain its key features. Therefore, the book offers a refreshing perspective on nurse-patient communication and is also an enjoyable read that would be beneficial for most professional nurses.
Engel, M. (2010). I’m here: Compassionate communication in patient care (3rd ed.). Orlando, FL: Philips Press.