Research and Scholarly Writing in Nursing

According to the Institute of Medicine (2015) effective patient care is described as when patient’s preferences and values are respected alongside clinical decisions which are made in response to each individual patient. Although providing effective patient care can be challenging to nurses when they utilise specific nursing concepts they can all lead to effective patient care.

This essay will discuss three nursing concepts; therapeutic relationship, communication and evidence based practice and how they are important for effective patient care.

The formation of a therapeutic relationship is a critical nursing concept as Arnold and Boggs (2007) supports, it encourages the idea of effective patient care. The author goes on to state that a therapeutic relationship is a personal relationship between a nurse and patient, where the patient is cared, supported and treated as an individual.

Foster and Hawkins (2005) reiterate that effective therapeutic relationships between the nurses and patients are critical in healthcare. To develop a quality therapeutic relationship patients must feel respected and understood (Arnold, 2014; Rodgers, 2017).

The authors continues to describe that this can be achieved through proper usage of nursing behaviours.

Behaviours that convey patient respect include; active listening, consistent care and taking patients seriously. Understanding and accepting patient’s with their issues and problems is vital for the formation of a nurse to client therapeutic relationship. It is critical for nurses to understand cultural dynamics of the patients, through a (2007) study from a New Zealand nurse and nurse educator Irihapeti Ramsden, found that maintaining cultural safety was found through the nurse’s behaviour and attitude towards the patients to create trusting effective patient care.

If the nurse does not except cultural diversity the relationship is not successful. As Batten and Holdaway (2012) argues that if the nurse fails to establish what is most important for the patient and their family this can result in loss of control, increased anxiety therefore diminishing the effect of care. In order to facilitate this relationship the nurse needs to be a good communicator.

For a nurse to provide effective patient care a vital concept to be maintained is communication. “Effective communication underpins good healthcare” (Webb 2010). Being able to communicate well helps us to achieve effective patient care. As described by Kissane (2012) having good communication skills can lead to “higher patient satisfaction, greater patient adherence to treatment, better patient health outcomes, reduced patient anxiety and improved understanding” (p.20).

If good communication (both verbal and non-verbal) is not provided patients can feel isolated and hopeless, “this can lead to poor co-operation and co-ordination in patient care” (World Health Organization, 2009). Patients make impressions of the nurse based on how the nurses communicate and relate with them, therefore taking time to listen will increase overall wellbeing and effective patient care. (Papagiannis, 2010; Barrett, 2012).

Although good communication is vital for effective patient care Mccormack (2011) claims that there should be clear boundaries of both personal and professional interactions (pg. 15). The nurse has the responsibility of knowing what constitutes appropriate professional practice and to sustain professional and personal boundaries to maintain effective patient care. As discussed by Taiwo (2014) nurses should respect the differences of each patient and aim to understand their response to changes in health. The nurse therefore builds the relationship with the patient by integrating the concepts of respect, empathy, trust and confidentiality to achieve the highest patient care.

Evidence based practice (EBP) is important because it aims to provide the most effective care to the patient. “The purpose of EBP is to use evidence from research to guide patients to achieve the best possible outcomes of care” (Saba, V. K. & McCormick, K. A., 2011). As discussed by Hanberg and Brown (2006) the use of evidence in the healthcare setting increases the nurses’ confidence, skill set and decision making.

Through a project created by Davidson (2014) nurses’ were able to learn the most effective way to perform patient care through evidence based practise, whilst being supported through the process. Barriers were identified throughout the process which were related to cost of care, patient satisfaction and regulatory compliance..

As discussed by Prior and Neville (2010) evidence based practise is important in ensuring that health resources are used wisely and that the latest relevant evidence is considered when making decisions to provide effective patient care. Newhouse reiterates (2007) that there are many barriers that prevent nurses from being able to access research. These can include insufficient funds, lack of education about the research process and lack of time.

Therefore Saba and McCormick (2011) conclude implementing evidence-based practice not only enhances the nurse’s clinical performance, but also leads to higher job satisfaction and more effective patient health care.

To conclude we can see that to achieve effective patient care the concepts discussed in this essay must be applied successfully. Therapeutic relationships, communication and evidence based practise allows us to understand that effective patient care is an important part of health as it helps to improve safety, quality of care and higher levels of patient satisfaction.


  • Cullen, L., & Adams, S. (2010). What is evidence-based practice?. Journal Of Perianethesia Nursing, 25(3), 171 173. doi:10.1016/j.jopan.2010.03.004
  • Pipe, T., Wellik, K.., Buchda, V., Hansen, C. & Martyn, D. (2005) Implementing evidence-based nursing practice. Urologic Nursing,25 (5). Retrieved from ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source Vertino, K. A. (2014, September 30).
  • Effective Interpersonal Communication: A Practical Guide to Improve Your Life. Retrieved from, L., & Papathanasiou, I. V. (2014, February 20).
  • Communication in Nursing Practice. Retrieved  from
  • BATTEN L, HOLDAWAY M &THE LCP RESEARCH TEAM (2012) Culturally appropriate end-of-life care for Ma -ori. Technical report for Phase 1b: Stakeholders’ perspectives of the cultural goals of care in the Liverpool Care Pathway for the dying patient (HRC11/027). Report No 2. Research Centre for M?ori Health and Development, Massey University, Palmerston North
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