International Journal of Medical Sciences

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Int J Med Sci 2011; 8(5):397-401. doi:10.7150/ijms.8.397

Research Paper

Communication Skills Training For Emergency Nurses

Mehmet Ak1 ✉, Orhan Cinar2, Levent Sutcigil1, Emel Dovyap Congologlu1, Bikem Haciomeroglu1, Hayri Canbaz2, Hulya Yaprak2, Loni Jay3, Kamil Nahit Ozmenler2

1. Department of Psychiatry, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, GATA Psikiyatri AD.06018 Etlik, Ankara, Turkey
2. Department of Emergency Medicine, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, GATA Psikiyatri AD.06018 Etlik, Ankara, Turkey
3. The University of Utah School of Medicine, Utah, USA.


Objective: To determine the effects of a communication skills training program on emergency nurses and patient satisfaction.

Methods: Sixteen emergency nurses attended a 6-week psychoeducation program that was intended to improve their communication skills. The first 3 sessions of the psychoeducation program consisted of theoretical education on empathy and communication. Other sessions covered awareness, active communication, and empathic skills on a cognitive behavioral basis using discussion, role play, and homework within an interactive group. The effects of the program were assessed using a communication skills scale, empathy scale, and patient satisfaction survey and were reflected by the reduction in the number of undesirable events between nurses and patients in the emergency department.

Results: The mean communication skill score (177.8±20) increased to 198.8±15 after training (p=0.001). Empathy score also increased from 25.7±7 to 32.6±6 (p=0.001). The patient satisfaction survey of 429 patients demonstrated increased scores on confidence in the nurses (76.4±11.2 to 84.6±8.3; p=0.01); the nurse's respect, kindness, and thoughtfulness (72.2± 8.1 to 82.1 ± 6,5; p=0.01); individualized attention (71.3± 6.2 to 73.2 ± 9.8; p=0.2); devotion of adequate time to listening (84.6± 9.3 to 89.8 ± 7.6; p=0.03); and counseling and information delivery (71.1± 10.2 to 80.2 ± 9.7; p=0.01). The number of undesirable events and complaints during nurse-patient interactions decreased 66 % from 6 to 2.

Conclusion: “Communication Skills Training” can improve emergency nurses' communication and empathy skills with a corresponding increase in patient satisfaction and reduction of the undesirable events and complaints during nurse-patient interactions.

Keywords: Communication Skills, Training, Nurses, Emergency

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Ak M, Cinar O, Sutcigil L, Congologlu ED, Haciomeroglu B, Canbaz H, Yaprak H, Jay L, Ozmenler KN. Communication Skills Training For Emergency Nurses. Int J Med Sci 2011; 8(5):397-401. doi:10.7150/ijms.8.397. Available from