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Flashcards in Chapter 24: Communication Deck (28)
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1

1. Nurses who make the best communicators
a.
Develop critical thinking skills.
b.
Like different kinds of people.
c.
Learn effective psychomotor skills.
d.
Maintain perceptual biases.

ANS: A
Nurses who develop critical thinking skills make the best communicators. Just liking people does not make an effective communicator because it is important to apply critical thinking standards to ensure sound effective communication. Just learning psychomotor skills does not ensure that the nurse will use those techniques and communication involves more than psychomotor skills. Critical thinking helps the nurse overcome perceptual biases or human tendencies that interfere with accurately perceiving and interpreting messages from others. Nurses who maintain perceptual biases do not make good communicators.

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2. A nurse believes that the nurse-patient relationship is a partnership, and that both are equal participants. Which term should the nurse use to describe this belief?
a.
Critical thinking
b.
Authentic
c.
Mutuality
d.
Attend

ANS: C
Effective interpersonal communication requires a sense of mutuality, a belief that the nurse-patient relationship is a partnership, and that both are equal participants. Critical thinking in nursing, based on established standards of nursing care and ethical standards, promotes effective communication and uses such standards as humility, self-confidence, independent attitude, and fairness. To be authentic (one’s self) and to respond appropriately to the other person are important for interpersonal relationships but do not mean mutuality. Attending is giving all of your attention to the patient.

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3. A nurse wants to present information about flu immunizations to the elderly in the community. Which type of communication should the nurse use?
a.
Interpersonal
b.
Public
c.
Transpersonal
d.
Small group

ANS: B
Public communication is interaction with an audience. Nurses have opportunities to speak with groups of consumers about health-related topics, present scholarly work to colleagues at conferences, or lead classroom discussions with peers or students. Intrapersonal communication is a powerful form of communication that occurs within an individual. Transpersonal communication is interaction that occurs within a person’s spiritual domain. When nurses work on committees, lead patient support groups, form research teams, or participate in patient care conferences, they use a small group communication process.

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4. Which technique will be most successful in ensuring effective communication? The nurse uses
a.
Interpersonal communication to change negative self-talk to positive self-talk.
b.
Small group communication to present information to an audience.
c.
Intrapersonal communication to build strong teams.
d.
Transpersonal communication to enhance meditation

ANS: D
Transpersonal communication is interaction that occurs within a person’s spiritual domain. Many people use prayer, meditation, guided reflection, religious rituals, or other means to communicate with their “higher power.” Interpersonal communication is one-on-one interaction between the nurse and another person that often occurs face to face. Meaningful interpersonal communication results in exchange of ideas, problem solving, expression of feelings, decision making, goal accomplishment, team building, and personal growth. Small group communication is interaction that occurs when a small number of persons meet. This type of communication is usually goal directed and requires an understanding of group dynamics. When nurses work on committees, lead patient support groups, form research teams, or participate in patient care conferences, they use a small group communication process. Intrapersonal communication is a powerful form of communication that occurs within an individual. For example, you improve your health and self-esteem through positive self-talk by replacing negative thoughts with positive assertions.

5

5. A nurse is standing beside the patient’s bed.
Nurse: How are you doing?
Patient: I don’t feel good.
In this situation, which element is the feedback?
a.
Nurse
b.
Patient
c.
How are you doing?
d.
I don’t feel good.

ANS: D
“I don’t feel good” is the feedback because the feedback is the message the receiver returns. The sender is the person who encodes and delivers the message, and the receiver is the person who receives and decodes the message. The nurse is the sender. The patient is the receiver. “How are you doing?” is the message.

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6. A nurse is sitting at the patient’s bedside taking a nursing history. Which zone of personal space is the nurse using?
a.
Intimate
b.
Personal
c.
Social
d.
Public

ANS: B
Personal space is 18 inches to 4 feet and involves such things as sitting at a patient’s bedside, taking a patient’s nursing history, or teaching an individual patient. Intimate space is 0 to 18 inches and involves such things as performing a physical assessment, bathing, grooming, dressing, feeding, and toileting a patient. Social zone is 4 to 12 feet and involves such things as making rounds with a physician, sitting at the head of a conference table, or teaching a class for patients with diabetes. Public zone is 12 feet and greater and involves such things as speaking at a community forum, testifying at a legislative hearing, or lecturing.

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7. A smiling patient angrily states, “I will not cough and deep breathe.” How will the nurse interpret this finding?
a.
The patient’s personal space was violated.
b.
The patient’s affect is inappropriate.
c.
The patient’s vocabulary is poor.
d.
The patient’s denotative meaning is wrong.

ANS: B
An inappropriate affect is a facial expression that does not match the content of a verbal message (e.g., smiling when describing a sad situation). The patient is smiling but is angry, which indicates an inappropriate affect. The patient’s personal space was not violated. The patient’s vocabulary is not poor. Individuals who use a common language share denotative meaning: baseball has the same meaning for everyone who speaks English, but code denotes cardiac arrest primarily to health care providers. The patient’s denotative meaning is correct for cough and deep breathe.

8

8. The nurse asks a patient where the pain is, and the patient responds by pointing to the area of pain. Which form of communication did the patient use?
a.
Verbal
b.
Nonverbal
c.
Intonation
d.
Vocabulary

ANS: B
The patient gestured (pointed), which is a type of nonverbal communication. Gestures emphasize, punctuate, and clarify the spoken word. Pointing to an area of pain is sometimes more accurate than describing its location. Verbal is the spoken word or message. Intonation or tone of voice dramatically affects the meaning of a message. Vocabulary consists of words used for verbal communication.

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9. A patient has been admitted to the hospital numerous times. The nurse asks the patient to share a personal story about the care that has been received. Which interaction is the nurse using?
a.
Narrative
b.
Socializing
c.
Nonjudgmental
d.
SBAR

ANS: A
In a therapeutic relationship, nurses often encourage patients to share personal stories. Sharing stories is called narrative interaction. Socializing is an important initial component of interpersonal communication. It helps people get to know one another and relax. It is easy, superficial, and not deeply personal. Nonjudgmental acceptance of the patient is an important characteristic of the relationship. Acceptance conveys a willingness to hear a message or acknowledge feelings; it is not a technique that involves personal stories. SBAR is a popular communication tool that helps standardize communication among health care providers. SBAR stands for Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation.

10

10. Before meeting the patient, a nurse talks to other caregivers about the patient. The nurse is in which phase of the helping relationship?
a.
Pre-interaction
b.
Orientation
c.
Working
d.
Termination

ANS: A
The time before the nurse meets the patient is called the pre-interaction phase. This phase can involve such things as reviewing available data, including the medical and nursing history, talking to other caregivers who have information about the patient, or anticipating health concerns or issues that can arise. The orientation phase occurs when the nurse and the patient meet and get to know one another. This phase can involve such things as setting the tone for the relationship by adopting a warm, empathetic, caring manner; recognizing that the initial relationship is often superficial, uncertain, and tentative; or expecting the patient to test the nurse’s competence and commitment. The working phase occurs when the nurse and the patient work together to solve problems and accomplish goals. This phase can involve such things as encouraging and helping the patient express feelings about his or her health, encouraging and helping the patient with self-exploration, or providing information needed to understand and change behavior. The termination phase occurs during the ending of the relationship. This phase can involve such things as reminding the patient that termination is near, evaluating goal achievement with the patient, or reminiscing about the relationship with the patient.

11

11. During the initial home visit, a home health nurse lets the patient know that the visits are expected to end in about a month. The nurse is in which phase of the helping relationship?
a.
Pre-interaction
b.
Orientation
c.
Working
d.
Termination

ANS: B
Letting the patient know when to expect the relationship to be terminated occurs in the orientation phase. Pre-interaction occurs before the nurse meets the patient. Working occurs when the nurse and the patient work together to solve problems and accomplish goals. Termination occurs during the ending of the relationship.

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12. A nurse and patient take action to meet health-related goals. The nurse is in which phase of the helping relationship?
a.
Pre-interaction
b.
Orientation
c.
Working
d.
Termination

ANS: C
The working phase occurs when the nurse and the patient work together to solve problems and accomplish goals. Pre-interaction occurs before the nurse meets the patient. Orientation occurs when the nurse and the patient meet and get to know each other. Termination occurs during the ending of the relationship

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13. A nurse uses SBAR during hand-offs. The purpose of SBAR is to
a.
Use common courtesy.
b.
Establish trustworthiness.
c.
Promote autonomy.
d.
Standardize communication.

ANS: D
When patients move from one nursing unit to another or from one provider to another, also known as hand-offs, a risk of miscommunication arises. Accurate communication is essential to prevent errors. SBAR is a popular communication tool that helps standardize communication among health care providers. Common courtesy is part of professional communication but is not the purpose of SBAR. Being trustworthy means helping others without hesitation. Autonomy is being self-directed and independent in accomplishing goals and advocating for others.

14

14. A patient was admitted 2 days ago with pneumonia and a history of angina. The patient is now having chest pain with a pulse rate of 108. Using the SBAR, which piece of data will the nurse use for B?
a.
Having chest pain
b.
Pulse rate of 108
c.
History of angina
d.
Oxygen is needed.

ANS: C
The B in SBAR stands for background information. The background information in this situation is the history of angina. Having chest pain is the Situation (S). Pulse rate of 108 is the Assessment (A). Oxygen is needed is the Recommendation (R).

15

15. A patient has trouble speaking words, and the patient’s speech is garbled. Which nursing diagnosis is most appropriate for this patient?
a.
Hopelessness
b.
Impaired verbal communication
c.
Hearing loss
d.
Self-care deficit

ANS: B
A patient with impaired verbal communication has defining characteristics such as an inability to articulate words, inappropriate verbalization, difficulty forming words, and difficulty comprehending. Hopelessness implies that the patient has no hope for the future. Hearing loss is not a nursing diagnosis. Just because a patient has garbled speech does not mean that a hearing loss has occurred; a physical problem such as a stroke could cause the garbled speech. Self-care deficit does not apply in this situation because this usually relates to bathing, grooming, etc.

16

16. Which person is the best referral for a patient who speaks a foreign language?
a.
A family member
b.
A speech therapist
c.
An interpreter
d.
A mental health nurse specialist

ANS: C
Interpreters are often necessary for patients who speak a foreign language. A family member can lead to legal issues, speech therapists help patients with aphasia, and mental health nurse specialists help angry or highly anxious patients to communicate more effectively.

17

17. A nurse is using SOLER to facilitate active listening. Which technique should the nurse use for R?
a.
Relax
b.
Respect
c.
Reminisce
d.
Reassure

ANS: A
In SOLER, the R stands for relax. It is important to communicate a sense of being relaxed and comfortable with the patient. Active listening enhances trust because the nurse communicates acceptance and respect for the patient, but it is not the R in SOLAR. Reminisce is a therapeutic communication technique, especially when used with the elderly. Reassuring can be therapeutic if the nurse reassures patients that there are many kinds of hope, and that meaning and personal growth can come from illness experiences. However, false reassurance can block communication.

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18. An elderly patient is wearing a hearing aid. Which technique should the nurse use to facilitate communication?
a.
Speak clearly and loudly.
b.
Turn off the television.
c.
Chew gum.
d.
Use at least 14-point print

ANS: B
Patients who are hearing impaired benefit when the following techniques are used: Check for hearing aids and glasses, reduce environmental noise, get the patient’s attention before speaking, do not chew gum, and speak at normal volume—do not shout. Using at least 14-point print is for sight/visually impaired, not hearing impaired.

19

19. When making rounds, the nurse finds a patient who is not able to sleep because of surgery in the morning. Which therapeutic response is most appropriate?
a.
“It will be okay. Your surgeon will talk to you in the morning.”
b.
“Why can’t you sleep? You have the best surgeon in the hospital.”
c.
“Don’t worry. The surgeon ordered a sleeping pill to help you sleep.”
d.
“It must be difficult not to know what the surgeon will find. What can I do to help?”

ANS: D
“It must be difficult not to know what the surgeon will find. What can I do to help?” is using therapeutic communication techniques of empathy and offering of self. False reassurances (“It will be okay” and “Don’t worry”) tend to block communication. Patients frequently interpret “why” questions as accusations or think the nurse knows the reason and is simply testing them.

20

20. Which situation will cause the nurse to intervene and follow up on the nurse aide’s behavior?
a.
The nurse aide is calling the older adult patient “honey.”
b.
The nurse aide is facing the older adult patient when talking.
c.
The nurse aide cleans the older adult patient’s glasses.
d.
The nurse aide allows time for the older adult patient to respond.

ANS: A
Communicate with older adults on an adult level, and avoid patronizing or speaking in a condescending manner. Avoid terms of endearment such as “honey,” “dear,” “grandma,” or “sweetheart.” Facing an older adult patient, making sure the older adult has clean glasses, and allowing time to respond facilitate communication with older adult patients and should be encouraged, not stopped.

21

21. A confused older adult patient is wearing thick glasses and a hearing aid. Which intervention is priority to facilitate communication?
a.
Focus on tasks to be completed.
b.
Allow time for the patient to respond.
c.
Limit conversations with the patient.
d.
Use gestures and other nonverbal cues.

ANS: B
Allowing time for the patient to respond will facilitate communication, especially for an older confused patient. Focusing on tasks to be completed and limiting conversations do not facilitate communication; in fact, they block communication. Using gestures and other nonverbal cues is not effective for visually impaired or cognitively impaired patients.

22

22. The staff is having a hard time getting an older adult patient to communicate. Which technique should the nurse suggest the staff use?
a.
Allow the patient to reminisce.
b.
Try changing topics often.
c.
Involve only the patient in conversations.
d.
Ask the patient for explanations.

ANS: A
Encouraging older adults to share life stories and reminisce about the past has a therapeutic effect and increases their sense of well-being. Avoid sudden shifts from subject to subject. It is helpful to include the patient’s family and friends and to become familiar with the patient’s favorite topics for conversation. Asking for explanations is a nontherapeutic technique.

23

23. The patient that will cause the greatest communication concerns for a nurse is the patient who is
a.
Alert, has strong self-esteem, and is hungry.
b.
Oriented, pain free, and blind.
c.
Cooperative, depressed, and hard of hearing.
d.
Dyspneic, has a tracheostomy, and is anxious.

ANS: D
Facial trauma, laryngeal cancer, or endotracheal intubation often prevents movement of air past vocal cords or mobility of the tongue, resulting in inability to articulate words. An extremely breathless person needs to use oxygen to breathe rather than speak. Persons with high anxiety are sometimes unable to perceive environmental stimuli or hear explanations. People who are alert, have strong self-esteem, and are cooperative and pain free do not cause communication concerns. Although hunger, blindness, and difficulty hearing can cause communication concerns, dyspnea, a tracheostomy, and anxiety all contribute to communication concerns.

24

24. A patient is aphasic, and the nurse notices that the patient’s hands shake intermittently. Which nursing action is most appropriate to facilitate communication?
a.
Use a picture board.
b.
Use pen and paper.
c.
Use an interpreter.
d.
Use a hearing aid.

ANS: A
Using a pen and paper can be frustrating for a nonverbal (aphasic) patient whose handwriting is shaky; the nurse can revise the care plan to include use of a picture board instead. An interpreter is used for a patient who speaks a foreign language. A hearing aid is used for the hard of hearing, not for an aphasic patient

25

25. The nurse using critical thinking to enhance communication with patients is one who
a.
Shows sympathy appropriately.
b.
Uses automatic responses fluently.
c.
Self-examines personal communication skills.
d.
Demonstrates passive remarks accurately.

ANS: C
Nurses who use critical thinking skills interpret messages received from others, analyze their content, make inferences about their meaning, evaluate their effects, explain rationales for communication techniques used, and self-examine personal communication skills. Sympathy is concern, sorrow, or pity felt for the patient and is nontherapeutic. Clichés and stereotyped remarks are automatic phrases that communicate that the nurse is not taking concerns seriously or responding thoughtfully. Passive responses serve to avoid conflict or to sidestep issues.

26

26. A patient says, “You are the worst nurse I have ever had.” Which response by the nurse is the most assertive?
a.
“If I were you, I’d feel grateful for a nurse like me.”
b.
“I feel uncomfortable hearing that statement.”
c.
“How can you say that when I have been checking on you regularly?”
d.
“You shouldn’t say things like that, it is not right.”

ANS: B
Assertive responses contain “I” messages such as “I want,” “I need,” “I think,” or “I feel.” Giving personal opinions (“If I were you”) is nontherapeutic and not assertive. Arguing (“How can you say that?”) is not assertive or therapeutic. Showing disapproval (using words like should, good, bad, right) is not assertive or therapeutic.

27

1. Which critical thinking standards should the nurse use to ensure sound effective communication with patients? (Select all that apply.)
a.
Faith
b.
Supportiveness
c.
Self-confidence
d.
Humility
e.
Independent attitude
f.
Spiritual expression

ANS: C, D, E
A self-confident attitude is important because the nurse who conveys confidence and comfort while communicating more readily establishes an interpersonal helping-trusting relationship. In addition, an independent attitude encourages the nurse to communicate with colleagues and share ideas about nursing interventions. An attitude of humility is necessary to recognize and communicate the need for more information before making a decision. Faith, supportiveness, and spiritual expression are attributes of caring, not critical thinking standards.

28

2. Which types of patients can cause challenging communication situations? (Select all that apply.)
a.
A male patient who is cooperative with treatments
b.
A female patient who is outgoing and flirty
c.
An older adult patient who is demanding
d.
An elderly patient who can clearly see small print
e.
A teenager frightened by the prospect of impending surgery
f.
A child who is developmentally delayed

ANS: B, C, E, F
Challenging communication situations include patients who are flirtatious, demanding, frightened, or developmentally delayed. A child who has received little environmental stimulation possibly is behind in language development, thus making communication more challenging. Patients who are cooperative and have good eyesight (see small print) do not cause challenging communication situations.