Nursing Education

Tools to Teach Therapeutic Communication

See how one nursing instructor is using the Comfort Communications App and GoReact to ensure his students master therapeutic communication

Patrick Luna describes how he uses two tech tools to create assignments that teach therapeutic communication skills.


Patrick Luna:

This is called the Comfort Communication Assignment. If you don’t know about the Comfort Communication App, I highly encourage you to take a look at it. It’s a communication tool for all healthcare providers. It’s recommended through the the AACN, our crediting body for 4-year college in the new essentials.

So it has two completed assignments with rubrics for nursing instructors. And the goal is to improve communication and health care providers. But these 2 assignments are geared towards nursing students. So all I did was take that format from the Comfort Communication Model and translate it into something similar to what I just showed you. It’s kind of like a case study. But this is not my own—this is something that I… and it’s an open educational resource the students can access it through an app on their phone. So I give them this scenario, and there’s tools within that app that they and it says within this in this scenario where they need to look.

So they’re going to use the app. They’ll read this. They’ll use the app to reconnect through to go to the Covid section they had there. It’s that updated. It was created in 2020 to teach healthcare providers how to how to communicate with patients through various layers of PPE. So it’s very, very updated. It was created for that that that purpose through a Federal grant.

So I have them, I have them look it up. They go to the Covid section of the app. They go to this section and reconnect through PPE, and as they go through that they choose which which method they would like to use to to communicate to this patient. So this is very early on in them trying to construct how to form a therapeutic relationship with a patient. So and then I have them demonstrate that within GoReact.

So I get to watch how they would go about addressing this scenario, and I give them feedback on their communication skills as I’m watching them do that. I’ll show you what the what that rubric looks like, and this is again not my own. I took this directly from the Comfort Communication App assignment that’s there for nursing students.

And so it’s fairly straightforward. Just, you know, do they exhibit a positive attitude toward nursing presence? And I can grade them on this 3-point scale. Tends to patience and motions and feelings, again on a 3-point scale. Exhibits a nonverbal support to a patient caregiver. So those are all things that within this assignment I get to assess them on.