Communication skills

Nurses Career Support


Hello! I am new here, hope it's ok that I ask this question here. I am a 32 year old female currently taking a PSW (Personal Support Worker) course. There's a possibility of entering an Practical Nursing program down the road, but I'm trying this first.

I am considered patient, caring, empathic by many, but unfortunately not a good conversationalist!:) Is it possible for a caring yet sort of shy person to be successful in a nursing related field? Can good communication skills be learned, or should it be something one naturally posesses?

My teacher says some people have empathy, others just don't, and if you don't have it the position as a PSW is not for you. This confuses me, as I think I am quite empathetic, but I have difficulty expressing it in words. I do not yet have any experience with patients/clients yet as placement has not yet begun.

Hope I'm making sense here, I would appreciate any thoughts!:)


703 Posts

Communication skills can always be learned and improved. In my nursing program, we had an entire section called "therapeutic communication" that covered just those kinds of things. I don't know if they cover those things in an LPN or PSW program, but even if they didn't, you can always read some of the very excellent articles and books about communication. You don't have to say anything at all to put your hand on someone's shoulder or hold their hand . . . and that's communication, too.

Also, WELCOME! There's some really terrific people here!


2 Posts

Thanks for the welcome:) Yes, communication skills is part of the PSW program, but I will take your advice about reading further about communication skills.

This board is very useful with helping others to decide if nursing is the right choice for them, I am grateful to find it!:)


581 Posts

Empathy isn't always expressed in words.......kind eyes, a gentle touch can heal many wounds.


603 Posts

Active listening is actually much more important than making conversation...if you are doing all the talking your patient won't be able to tell you anything.


1,024 Posts

Sometimes the best words are unspoken....


593 Posts

I agree totally with Researchrabbit. I think to be able to listen to what your patient needs in the first step in being a good nurse. Even with those patients that will complain loudly, you may be able to pick up something if you listen closely. Communication does not mean just talking...I don't know about you but when I come upon someone who always has to talk, I just shut down because it just become noise.:uhoh3:

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