Nursing Practices Within Telehealth Care: Communication Skills Re-Visited Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
Tayyib, N. A.1, Asfour, H. I.1, Samb, C.2 & Lindsay, G. M.1*
1Faculty of Nursing, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2Al Hada Armed Forces Hospital, Taif Region, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Lindsay, G. M., Faculty of Nursing, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Keywords: Telehealth; Communication Skills; Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication; COVID-19 Distance in Healthcare; Nursing Profession
In nursing practices, effective communication is of the greatest importance to promote engagement with patients, playing a central role in enabling quality of healthcare interactions. However, problems raised by patients about their treatment are often found to be rooted in poor communication within their engagement with the healthcare system and healthcare professionals’ interactions. The safety need to minimise direct patient-practitioner contact in the light of COVID-19 has seen rapid growth in the prominence of telehealth care approaches such as video conferencing and greater use of video enhanced telephone calls. Consultations based on the use of these platforms alter the range and perspectives in communication processes taking place within this ‘virtual’ consultation setting. This new environment affects both verbal and non-verbal communication performance for practitioners and patients who may also have family members present during the consultation. This article revises established tenets for effective patient-practitioner communication within healthcare consultations, support from the nursing profession and provides guidance on dealing with challenges in effective communication posed within the telehealth environment. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis many of these newer remote working practices are likely to continue to be part of healthcare practices and policy-makers are advocating that the nursing profession plays a more prominent role in leading policy and practice in future healthcare.
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