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From The CriticsReviewer: Margaret A. Haroth, MS(Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This workbook contains valuable information and exercises for student nurses and clinicians on ways to develop and enhance therapeutic relationships through effective communication techniques. The authors provide clear approaches to communication with challenging clients. Therapeutic interactions for clients with psychiatric illness, the culturally diverse client, children, the cognitively impaired, and those who are mechanically ventilated are described.
Purpose: The main thrust of this book is to provide student nurses and clinicians an opportunity to explore personal modes of communication and to develop effective therapeutic communication techniques for client goal-acquisition. The authors stress the importance of self knowledge and emotional intelligence as prerequisites for therapeutic interactions in nursing. The development of self is a key factor in how well the nurse interacts with a wide variety of clients. Reflection and critical analysis of the student's communication techniques are included at the end of each chapter through the performance of various exercises. The book meets the authors' objectives as the reader explores the use of self and interactions with others through these exercises.
Audience: The authors address the student of nursing as well as clinicians who are seeking certification or licensure. They suggest use of the workbook in early clinical courses or when dealing with communication challenges in clinical groups. This workbook has appeal to a broad audience since it contains communication techniques for use with children and for adults with circumstances that present many challenges to the novice as well as the expert nurse. The authors bring many years of experience and education in nursing. They approach this subject matter with a focus on holistic practice. Their work complements the writings of Riley's Communication in Nursing, 5th edition (Elsevier, 2004). Their message is clear, focused, and relevant to current practice.
Features: This book begins in Chapter 1 with exploration of self as an essential component of developing therapeutic interactions with clients. The concept of emotional intelligence and how this impacts the nurse-patient relationship is explored. It is developed further in subsequent chapters as the authors explain how the use of self in helping relationships can be effective or ineffective. Specific communication challenges in clinical practice are explored in later chapters. These challenges are relevant as well as problematic, not only for student nurses, but experienced clinicians as well. Therefore, this workbook can be a valuable reference for experienced nurses in critical care, pediatrics, geriatrics, and the psychiatric setting. Another challenge in clinical practice that would be appropriate, but not included in this workbook, is communication with clients with end-of-life issues. I would suggest inclusion of therapeutic interventions for this special circumstance since the authors explore the use of self as an intervention in nursing practice. In end-of-life care, the use of self may be the most powerful intervention a clinician can offer. There are few diagrams (only two) in the book. Illustrations designed to enhance the clarity of written material would ensure students' attainment of the objectives that are introduced at the beginning of each chapter.
Assessment: This 110-page workbook is an easy "must-read" project for anyone in nursing, i.e., students as well as seasoned clinicians. The authors offer insight for all who are engaged in current practice. Their suggestions on do's and don'ts of communications provide the student and/or nurse with valuable tools for developing therapeutic interventions. The techniques are meaningful to current nursing practice and highly specialized for clients in a wide range of clinical settings.