Nursing in the 21st century: communicating the complex

Join our Twitter chat on 4th July to hear how nurses and midwives tackle communicating complicated information to their patients

Nurses play a key role throughout a patient’s journey, spending more time with patients than any other profession within the NHS. The ability to communicate in a clear, accessible manner is fundamental to this relationship.

Today’s NHS is awash with complex terms, acronyms and jargon that can create verbal barriers between the healthcare professional and the patient. It is often the job of nurses to explain to the patient this information in a language they understand. Equally, nurses can be presented with complex terminology that they may be unfamiliar with. What do nurses do when presented with difficult language?

The introduction of genomics into mainstream healthcare is set to provide new diagnoses, prognoses and treatments, forming the foundations of personalised medicine. The ability of the NHS workforce to understand, discuss and convey this complex area to colleagues and patients has never been more pressing. Could you talk to a patient about why one treatment works better than another based on their genomic information?

How do nurses communicate the complex?

Using genomics as an example, the Genomics Education Programme would like to hear how nurses communicate the complex. What techniques do they use, where have these worked and where they have not. We are keen to learn from you as we prepare nurses, midwives and the entire health service for the genomic revolution.

Throughout the chat we will be asking:

  • How do you normally tackle communicating complexity?
  • Can you give examples where communicating complexity of a condition, treatment or procedure has created barriers?
  • What tactics do you use to overcome these barriers? Did they work?
  • Do you choose your words wisely? For instance, using words like condition instead of disease to avoid negative connotations?
  • Do you think the perceived complexity of subjects like genomics puts people off talking about them?
  • How can the language of genomics become more user-friendly?

Join our Twitter chat hosted by @WeNurses on Tuesday 4th July at 8pm to learn more.

For more information about the Genomics Education Programme, visit our website or contact us.