I work in hospice care and a good nurse-patient relationship is mandatory. In hospice we address the family/significant others as the unit of care, and they become my patients. Its necessary that I MAKE the time to develop therapeutic relationships w/ them, as when I've established them, my teaching effectiveness increases.
Someone mentioned the ATT language line. It has been really helpful at some times, but there are certain phrases, nuances that DON'T translate. Other emotions are international, and patients can tell if you have a vested interest in their care, or are 'just going through the motions'. Please use any and all means of communicationg at your disposal, but never forget the power of human touch. I don't remember nursing school
spending adequate time on communication, but it seems to be an innate quality/skill that is found in caregivers, and it can be honed.