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Dialogue in Nursing

A Report on the Communication Modes in Nursing

Nicole Coleman

Louisiana State University

Author Note:

This paper was written for the course English 2001 instructed by Professor Coco. The goal of

this paper is to develop insight on the written communication used by nurses.



The research paper, Dialogue in Nursing, is an informative essay that educates the reader on the

importance of written dialogue in the field of nursing. An in-depth review of the variety of ways

written communication such as charting, is applied in nursing can be found in this paper; as well

as the advantages and protection that written communication provides in nursing and the medical

field as a whole. While discussing the benefits of written communication, an evaluation of the

pitfalls and potential mishaps, such as cases of medical malpractice, that can result from

improper written communication is also present in this research paper.

Keywords: written dialogue, charting, medical malpractice


1. Rate the draft in each category, and then provide a brief justification for the rating you
gave the draft. I rated myself as a 2 for focus, a 2 for development, 1 for organization
and a 1 for audience and awareness. I gave myself a 2 for the focus and development
because I feel that my ideas are clear and the message of the essay is developed early on
in the paper. The 1 in organization comes from my lack of structure in the paper and
some of my ideas are not positioned properly in the paper. I think better organization
would increase my scores in the other areas of the rubric. For audience and awareness, I
gave myself a 1 as well because I feel that the paper isnt really writing to a specific
group of people, its very broad. This is something I need to improve on before the final
draft is submitted.
2. Describe whats working well in the draft by citing a specific passage or paragraph that
demonstrates the strength. . Improper communication can lead to several
compromising situations that can jeopardize a nurses career, while also putting the health
and safety of patients at risk as well. Communicating clearly and cohesively through
writing is something that a nurse must thoroughly exhibit. I think this sentence provides
a good idea of what the topic of the paper is about, while also leaving the reader curious
as to the significance of communication in nursing.
3. List three specific concerns or questions you have about the draft so your reviewers can
help you with these issues.
a. Does my paper have an audience? If so, who do you think the audience is? If not,
what can I add to my writing to bring focus to the audience?
b. How do I develop a stronger title? I feel like the title of my paper is bland.
c. What sources do you think I can use to strengthen my writings and support my
findings on written communication in nursing?

* The comments in the midterm portfolio were very helpful in me crafting my final draft. I was
able to weave my citations into my paper better after looking at the comments from the midterm
portfolio draft. I felt that the comments were very straight-forward and did a good job of
strengthening my paper and making it more concise. The teacher comments also helped me make
sure my paper was following the APA guidelines for formatting. The tips regarding the
formatting of the paper were very helpful considering I didnt have any experience with the APA
writing style before this assignment. I agreed with all the comments that were left on my
midterm portfolio draft and didnt find any of them confusing or hindering to my final draft.

Dialogue in Nursing

Written communication is a fundamental part in the nursing field. From charting to dosages, the

ability to have sufficient written dialogue between a nurse and their patient or doctor is very

important. Improper communication can lead to several compromising situations that can

jeopardize a nurses career, while also putting the health and safety of patients at risk as well.

Communicating clearly and cohesively through writing is something that a nurse must

thoroughly exhibit. One issue that can arise from incorrect written communication is medical

malpractice. A miscommunication in a written document caused by the disregard from a nurse

can cause a huge threat to a patient who is receiving medical care.

Communication Issues for Practitioners, is a that article details the various factors that

makes up the dialogue used by nurses, and medical personnel in general. The author uses ethics

and logic to attract her audience. The different types of diagnostic reports written by nurses is

also discussed by the author, and she distinguishes between the reports written by nurses in

comparison to general medical diagnostics. The use of written communication in nursing

expands beyond charting and delivering diagnostics. Written communication, as stated by Losey

in the Communication Issues for Practitioners, provides nurses with a common frame of

reference and standardizes language that improves communication among nurses, helps organize

research, and is useful in educating new practitioners (Losey, 2013). This further cements

Loseys message where she conveys the importance of written communication in nursing. She

shows how writing is multidimensional in nursing and is used to connect nurses and their


Throughout the article, Losey also explains the purpose of written diagnostics to her

audience, which allows for a more cohesive writing that allows her audience to soundly grasp the

purpose of the writing. The writing addresses the audience by providing a category of the

different ways diagnostics are used in nursing. In each category, the author provides a different

scenario in which written communication is used, while providing its purpose. The purpose of

the article is clearly depicted in the first paragraph of the writing. The diagnostics of nursing is

defined as, a clinical judgement about individual, family, or community responses to actual or

potential health problems/life processes (Losey, 2013).

Charting is the number one source of communication used by nurses. Charting allows

nurses to document their findings, which very important in aiding thorough and concise

communication. Establishing a record of a patient through charts allows for clear communication

amongst other practitioners who might later encounter the patient. Along with providing visual

references of the health of the patient; it also serves as a way to preserve the integrity of the

nurse in the instance of a potential medical malpractice case. Charting allows nurses to keep

records of their patients and their recordings.

This chart shows an example of written communication (Examples of Written Documentation in

Nursing). Charting is used by nurses to give a clear and concise written document that provides

the doctors or nurses who may also be working with a patient with the correct information for

diagnostics, monitoring progression, and keeping documentation on the patient. Perhaps one of

the biggest benefits of charting in nursing, and medicine in general is its ability to protect the

medical professional from cases of medical malpractice. In an article published by Gale

Encyclopedia, an accusation of medical malpractice can be filed for suit by a patient if there is

negligence committed by a health care professional that can be presented. The article reads, For

negligence to be actionable (having all the components necessary to constitute a viable cause

of action), there must be a duty owed to someone, a breach of that duty, and resulting harm or

damage that is proximately caused by that breach (Gale Encyclopedia 2013). Medical

malpractice often results from miscommunication by a nurse or doctor on their charting that

causes the wrong diagnosis on the doctors behalf. This jeopardizes the care of the patient by

putting them in a situation where they could be receiving treatment for something completely

unrelated to their real problem. The dangers of misdiagnosing a patient is also referenced in the

article, If a patient is treated for a disease or condition that he or she does not have, the

treatment or medication itself may cause harm to the patient. This is in addition to the harm

caused by the true condition continuing untreated (Gale Encyclopedia, 2013). Medical

malpractice can compromise the health of the patient, while also compromising the legitimacy of

the medical professional accused of malpractice.

While written communication typically ensures the security and integrity of the medical

practitioner, the potential for pitfalls is present. Improper written communication can create

confusion amongst the patient, nurse, and doctor. The presence of a minor error in charting can

create significant danger to all the parties involved in the process. The importance of accuracy,

consistency, and accountability are all pivotal factors in the written aspect of communication.

These factors can present a multitude of problems for the patient; such as a misdiagnosis,

incorrect medical treatment; as well as the possibility of a suit, as listed in the paragraph above,

of medical malpractice for the practitioner(s) involved in a potential mishap. This is a pitfall that

is common in the medical field and is very avoidable if the steps to maintain proper written

dialogue are enforced.

Written communication is pivotal in nursing. It provides the nurses with reliable

documentation of their findings, while also providing the patient with a reference of the

treatment they are receiving. The uses of written dialogue are multidimensional in the field of

nursing. Charting and consistent communication are perhaps the two biggest uses for written

communication in nursing. These two factors allow for clear and concise communication among

all the parties involved in the process of medicine. With diligent medical personnel who work to

preserve the ethics and integrity of nursing, the pitfalls listed in this paper can easily be avoided.

The values of ethics and integrity, which is listed by LSUHSC as core values in nursing, can

help any aspiring or actively working nurse further develop a better understanding of how to

effectively communicate in the nursing field.



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