Examples of Positive and Negative Communication in Nursing

Part 1: Examples of Positive and Negative Communication
Watch the following two video-based scenarios of a hospital-based interdisciplinary meeting. The first video depicts a “less than ideal” case scenario, while the second video presents a group working together for the common good of the group and the patients.

University. (2013a, August 12). Case 001: A case for improvement [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KShd5XTHEKE
University. (2013b, August 12). Case 001: Best practices [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVc1YCz8Dz8
Answer the following questions based on the videos and the resources provided.

Provide two concrete examples of differences in communication styles between the groups in the videos. (1-2 paragraphs)
Explain one possible cause of ineffective interpersonal communication in the video, “A Case for Improvement.” Explain one possible consequence of the ineffective communication displayed. (2 paragraphs)
Describe two healthy communication strategies used by the group in the second video, “Best Practices.” (1-2 paragraphs)
Part 2: Application to Professional Practice
Answer the following questions based on your professional experiences along with the resources provided.

Recommend two communication strategies that could be applied which would encourage openness, civility, and high-quality patient care. (2 paragraphs)
Explain how positive inter-professional collaboration, psychological safety, and open, effective communication can impact quality of care and patient safety. (1-2 paragraphs)
Describe a specific situation from your personal experience when ineffective or uncivil communication lead to an unsafe or unhealthy situation. Recommend at least one strategy that you might employ if a similar situation arose in your current nursing practice. Defend the strategy you have selected. (1-2 paragraphs)
Recommend three specific strategies that you, as a nurse leader, can use to foster safe, ethical, and civil communication in your workplace. (2 paragraphs)
At the end of your paper, list the references you used to support your responses. Be sure to support your responses with scholarly sources. Practice using APA in-text citations and reference lists to support your response.


Communication, Collaboration, and Civility in Nursing Practice

Nurses play a vital role in providing care to patients. According to Kraut (2018), patient safety and treatment outcomes depend on the work of nurses. Vertino (2014) observes that in order to provide quality healthcare services, nurses need to have good communication skills. They should also collaborate, and portray civility in their practice (Edwards, 2014; Bhatt & Swick, 2017). The purpose of this paper is to describe how effective communication, good collaboration, and civility help to enhance patient outcomes.

Cooperation, Collaboration and Communication

Differences in communication styles are clearly displayed by the two versions of the video. The first video (A Case for Improvement) is based on passive-aggressive style of communication. This form of communication is characterized by having an attitude of unwillingness, paying no attention, lack of interest, disrespect, withdrawal, avoidance, excess complains, being upset, and getting confused (Newton, 2021). An example from the video is lack of attention since some members were on their phones.

In contrast, the second video (Best Practices) derives from assertive communication style. Some of the common traits of this style of communication include being physically, emotionally, and mentally present and involved, working to achieve the set goals, being comfortable to share thoughts, supporting the views of others, and respecting each other (Sibiya, 2018; Newton, 2021). A good example from the video is demonstrated by the way members respect each other’s opinion.

Effective communication in nursing is key in the achievement of better treatment outcomes (Edwards, 2014; Vertino, 2014). In video number one, ineffective interpersonal communication is caused by lack of respect for self, peers, and even the patient that the members are discussing about. Nobody in the meeting is ready to make an effort in providing care to the patient.

Ineffective communication usually leads to confusion, chaos, disorders, conflicts, wasted resources, and undesirable patient outcomes (Edwards, 2014). From the first video, it is evident that the patient whose case is under discussion in the meeting is less likely to get quality healthcare services. This is due to poor interpersonal communication displayed by the members.

There is need for clear communication between nurses and colleagues, patients, and their family members. This helps to ensure that health information is conveyed in an effective manner (Sibiya, 2018). In video number two, the group demonstrates some important and healthy communication strategies. One of the strategies is active listening. All members in the meeting are attentive and alert. There are no distractions, and nobody is absentminded. Another healthy strategy displayed by the group is provision of factual information. The way each member is responding to the questions pertaining to the patient case they are discussing shows that all of them are highly informed. They demonstrate their professional discretion.

Effective communication among colleagues helps to promote teamwork and collaboration. One of the effective communication strategies that can help to promote openness and civility among nursing colleagues is the use of affirming responses. This involves responding in a way that shows acknowledgement of experiences (Sibiya, 2018). The strategy is clearly demonstrated in the Best Practices video. The nurse leader who is serving as the facilitator of the meeting takes her time to thank the members for their inputs.

It is also important to note that effective communication between nurses and patients is vital for better healthcare outcome. An effective strategy of communication between the two parties that can lead to high-quality patient care is empathizing. This strategy entails demonstrating sensitivity and concern (Vertino, 2014). The nurses in the second video show that they care about the patient they are discussing about. This kind of concern can help to ensure that the patient gets better and quality medical attention.

Incivility, Bullying, and Workplace Violence

Effective inter-professional collaboration, psychological safety of healthcare workers, and open communication among colleagues are necessary for both patient safety and quality care. It is important for nurses to work with physicians, clinical officers, pharmacists, community health workers, public health workers, and health workers from other professional backgrounds. The inter-professional collaboration improves efficiency, minimizes medical errors, and increases the level of patient satisfaction (Hughes & United States, 2008; Bhatt & Swick, 2017). By doing so, it helps to ensure that patient receive quality healthcare services.

Just like other professionals, nurses need assurance of their psychological safety in regard to whether they are protected against incivility, workplace violence and bullying. Psychological safety allows nursing or healthcare teams to work interdependently without fear (Donovan & McAuliffe, 2020). This helps to enhance coordination for the purpose of achieving safe patient care. On its part, effective and open communication fosters teamwork and clarity (Hughes & United States, 2008; Bhatt & Swick, 2017). These factors are crucial for quality patient care.

Strategies to Promote Civility and a Healthy Work Environment

Whenever there is ineffective communication among healthcare teams, the safety of the patient is put at risk (Hughes & United States, 2008). This is due to the fact that ineffective communication creates a situation for medical errors to occur. In my nursing practice, I remember a situation where we were attending to a severely injured patient in an emergency room. I was not attentive to what the physician in charge had asked me to do in terms of administering medications to the patient.  I ended up overdosing the patient, and he almost died. In order to avoid a similar situation, I have to be an active listener. Active listening helps to ensure that orders are well understood and critical information is not misinterpreted (Hughes & United States, 2008). Medical errors are less likely to occur under such circumstances.

Nurse leaders have the task of coordinating their team members in the best way possible to achieve good healthcare outcomes. However, this objective can be rarely achieved unless there is safe, ethical, and civil communication with members. In the course of their work and interaction with team members, nurse leaders need to embrace principles of openness and honesty. Being open can help to promote a good working relationship. On the other hand, being honesty with members can allow them to own mistakes (Sibiya, 2018). These communication strategies can help to promote effective collaboration.  

It is also important for nurse leaders to show respect to the nurse teams they lead. Nurses who feel respected tend to be highly motivated (Vertino, 2014). The motivation can enable them to make an effort in providing quality care. Additionally, nurse leaders should appreciate the teams they work with. Nurses who feel appreciated tend to work hard in whatever responsibilities they are assigned (Vertino, 2014). The hard work is likely to lead to good patient outcomes.


Patient safety and outcome generally depend on the communication styles, level of collaboration, and civility of healthcare professionals. In their practice, it is necessary for nurses to embrace effective communication strategies in order to avoid medical errors. They should also work as a team in order to provide quality care. Nurse leaders need to handle their teams with respect, empathy, and politeness.   


Edwards, M. (2014). Communication Skills for Nurses: A Practical Guide on How to Achieve Successful Consultations. London: Quay Books Division, MA Healthcare, Ltd.

Newton, C. (2021). The Five Communication Styles. Retrieved on January 23, 2021 from http://www.clairenewton.co.za/my-articles/the-five-communication-styles.html

Bhatt, J. & Swick, M. (2017). Focusing on Teamwork and Communication to Improve Patient Safety. Retrieved on January 23, 2021 from https://www.aha.org/news/blog/2017-03-15-focusing-teamwork-and-communication-improve-patient-safety

Donovan, R. & McAuliffe, E. (2020). Exploring psychological safety in healthcare teams to inform the development of interventions: combining observational, survey and interview data. BMC Health Services Research, 20 (810).

Hughes, R., & United States. (2008). Patient safety and quality: An evidence-based handbook for nurses. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Kraut, N. (2018). Effects of Poor Communication Patterns Between Nurses & Providers. Retrieved on January 23, 2018 from https://www.healthstream.com/resources/blog/blog/2018/12/03/the-impact-of-poor-communication-patterns-between-nurses-and-providers

Vertino, K. A. (2014). Effective Interpersonal Communication: A Practical Guide to Improve Your Life. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 19 (30).

Creighton University. (2013a, August 12). Case 001: A case for improvement [Video File]. Retrieved on January 23, 2021from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KShd5XTHEKE

Creighton University. (2013b, August 12). Case 001: Best practices [Video File]. Retrieved on Jnuary 23, 2021 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVc1YCz8Dz8

Sibiya, M. N. (2018). Effective Communication in Nursing. Retrieved on January 23, 2021 from https://www.intechopen.com/books/nursing/effective-communication-in-nursing

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