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Posted: February 4th, 2022

Effect of Communication Skills Training on the Burnout of Nurses

Effect of Communication Skills Training on the Burnout of Nurses

Burnout is a psychological syndrome that affects many health care professionals, especially nurses, who work in stressful and demanding environments. Burnout can have negative consequences for the quality of care, patient safety, job satisfaction, and personal well-being of nurses. Therefore, it is important to find effective ways to prevent and reduce burnout among nurses.

One possible way to address burnout is to improve the communication skills of nurses. Communication skills are essential for establishing rapport, empathy, and trust with patients and colleagues, as well as for managing conflicts, expressing emotions, and coping with stress. Communication skills training (CST) is a type of intervention that aims to enhance the communication competence and confidence of nurses through various methods, such as lectures, role plays, feedback, and coaching.

Several studies have examined the effect of CST on the burnout of nurses. A cross-sectional study by Khademi et al. (2016) found that nurses who participated in a 12-hour CST program had significantly lower levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, two dimensions of burnout, compared to nurses who did not receive the training. The authors suggested that CST helped nurses to communicate more effectively with patients and colleagues, which reduced their stress and increased their sense of accomplishment.

Another study by Kato et al. (2003) investigated the relationship between burnout and assertiveness training (AsT), a specific type of CST that focuses on teaching nurses how to express their opinions, feelings, and needs in a respectful and confident manner. The study found that nurses who received AsT had lower levels of emotional exhaustion and higher levels of personal accomplishment than nurses who did not receive AsT. The authors argued that AsT improved the self-esteem and self-efficacy of nurses, which enabled them to cope better with the demands of their work.

A recent systematic review by Molero Jurado et al. (2021) synthesized the evidence from 14 studies on the effect of CST on the burnout of nurses. The review found that CST had a positive impact on reducing the burnout of nurses, especially on the emotional exhaustion dimension. The review also identified some factors that influenced the effectiveness of CST, such as the duration, frequency, content, format, and follow-up of the training. The authors recommended that CST should be tailored to the needs and preferences of nurses, as well as to the context and culture of their work settings.

In conclusion, CST is a promising intervention that can help to prevent and reduce burnout among nurses. By improving the communication skills of nurses, CST can enhance their interpersonal relationships, professional performance, and psychological well-being. However, more research is needed to determine the optimal design and delivery of CST for different groups of nurses and different health care settings.

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