Nursing Education

Teaching Communication Skills Comes Down to 3 Things

A short video clip explaining the three things we are asking students to do when learning communication skills

Hear communications scholar Elaine Wittenberg, Ph.D., break down the three areas of development students go through when learning communication skills.


Elaine Wittenberg:

So if we think about when it comes to teaching communication skills, you’re asking a student to do a couple of things. You’re asking a student to become aware of their own communication, you’re asking them to learn about a new way of communicating and then you’re asking them to change something about the way they communicate or to have a new behavior. So this process really involves three aspects of development. First is nursing students need to learn the value of communication, because you have to value it in order to be able to adopt a favorable attitude. Second is that nursing students need to be taught about communication processes, so that they have a knowledge and understanding of how their communication behaviors affect others. And then finally, new communication skills should be practiced in a safe environment and assessed according to the competency based approach outlined in the Essentials document. So a competency based approach to teaching the concept of communication as outlined in Essentials domains, should address three different types of learning objectives.