Although the nurse educates the patient on the standard procedure of frequent vital signs, the patient’s experience may lead him to communicate it differently to friends and family. 3. Focus on the issue, not the person. Many people already communicate in this fashion. However, they do not always specify their communication as such. For example, senior physician residents in a teaching hospital were asked to report daily to the unit charge nurse regarding each patient’s plan of care. Reactions were mixed. Some residents understood the goal of increasing communication to expedite quality care. Other residents felt the request was nursing’s way of telling them they did not respond to pages during morning rounds. From the outside, the second interpretation seems farfetched but it serves to show how people interpret communication differently. You can never make assumptions. Identifying the issue as a way to collaborate for better care could have diminished the risk of anyone misinterpreting the goal behind the communication. Regardless of how you present communication, remember that each unique personality will respond differently. If someone misinterprets what is being said, stay focused on the issue and do not respond to the personality. 4. Ask questions. There is a notion among the general public that a lack of questions equates to understanding. This is not so. It is imporWinter 2014 Pennsylvania Nurse 6 tant to clarify understanding with those you communicate with. Asking patients to repeat what has been taught or repeating orders back to a health care provider are examples of clarifying questions. In order for communication to be completely effective we also need to consider questions such as: How does this plan or change make you feel? What are your concerns for the day or for this meeting? Asking patients and colleagues these type of questions will help to uncover emotion, guided by personality type, which can extend communication further for better outcomes. 5. Utilize organized communication. Realizing the role that personality plays in communication is only one piece of the puzzle. It is important to use other organized techniques to ensure that all pieces of information are shared. The technique of SBARQ has been shown effective in interprofessional communication as well as patient outcomes (Pope, Rodzen & Spross, 2008). Keep communication focused to the situation, background, assessment, request or recommendation and questions. Do not be afraid to use the same type of technique when communicating with patients. The more patients can understand the entire situation, the more likely they are to have positive outcomes. Communication is an essential, yet complex tool that is the core to human interaction. In nursing school, we are taught the importance of organized communication methods, non-verbal cues and therapeutic techniques. Understanding the role personality plays in our communication interactions will not only make communication easier, but enhance teamwork and efficiency (CPP, 2014). De Vries, BakkerPieper and Konings (2011, p. 509) state that “communication style is the expression of one’s personality.” If this is the case, we can expect every day to be full of diverse encounters. References CPP (2014). Bringing “be better” into the board. room. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/ResultiveBoards_MBTI deVries, R. E., Bakker-Pieper, A., Konings, F. E. & Schouten, B. (2011). The communication styles inventory (CSI): A six-dimensional behavioral model of communication styles and its relation with personality. Communication Research, 40(4), 506-532. doi: 10.1177/0093650211413571 Haynes, J. & Strickler, J. (2014). TeamSTEPPS makes strides for better communication. Nursing 2014, 44(1), 62-63. doi: 10.1097/01.NURSE.0000438725.66087.89 Myers & Briggs Foundation. (2014). The 16 MBTI Types. Retrieved from http://www. myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/ mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.asp#ESTJ Pope, B., Rodzen, L. & Spross, G. (2008). Raising the SBAR: How better communication improves patient outcomes. Nursing 2008, 38(3), 41-43. doi: 10.1097/01. NURSE.0000312625.74434.e8 Dr. Moyer is PSNA’s Director of Professional Development. She oversees the management of continuing education and program development. Currently a faculty member of the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, her extensive background also includes acute care staff nurse, clinical head nurse and hospice nurse. Moyer is an accomplished author and has been published Nursing2011, MEDSURG Nursing and Advance for Nurses.