Communication and Physical Assessment of the Child and Family : Blocks to communication

Blocks to communication

  • Communication Barriers (Nurse)
    • Socializing
    • Giving unrestricted and sometimes unsought advice
    • Offering premature or inappropriate reassurance
    • Giving over-ready encouragement
    • Defending a situation or opinion
    • Using stereotyped comments or clichés
    • Limiting expression of emotion by asking directed, closed-ended questions
    • Interrupting and finishing the person’s sentence
    • Talking more than the interviewee
    • Forming prejudged conclusions
    • Deliberately changing the focus
  • Signs of Information Overload (Patient)
    • Long periods of silence
    • Wide eyes and fixed facial expression
    • Constant fidgeting or attempting to move away
    • Nervous habits (e.g., tapping, playing with hair)
    • Sudden interruptions (e.g., asking to go to the bathroom)
    • Looking around
    • Yawning, eyes drooping
    • Frequently looking at a watch or clock
    • Attempting to change the topic of discussion

Communicating with Children

  • Allow children time to feel comfortable
  • Avoid sudden or rapid advances, broad smiles, extended eye contact, and other gestures that may be threatening.
  • Talk to the parent if the child is initially shy.
  • Communicate through transition objects (such as, dolls, puppets, and stuffed animals) before questioning a young child directly.
  • Give older children the opportunity to talk without the parents’ present.
  • Assume a position that is at eye level with the child 
  • Speak in a quiet, unhurried, and confident voice.
  • Speak clearly, be specific, and use simple words and short sentences.
  • State directions and suggestions positively.
  • Offer a choice only when one exists.
  • Be honest with children.
  • Allow children to express their concerns and fears.
  • Use a variety of communication techniques.

Communicating with Adolescents

  • Build a Foundation
    • Spend time together.
    • Encourage expression of ideas and feelings.
    • Respect their views.
    • Tolerate differences.
    • Praise good points.
    • Respect their privacy.
    • Set a good example
    • Communicate Effectively
  • Give undivided attention.
    • Listen, listen, and listen.
    • Be courteous, calm, honest, and open-minded.
    • Try not to overreact. If you do, take a break.
    • Avoid judging or criticizing.
    • Avoid the “third degree” of continuous questioning.
    • Choose important issues when taking a stand.
    • After taking a stand:
    • Think through all options.
    • Make expectations clear


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