Nurses’ perspectives on their communication with patients in busy oncology wards: A qualitative study

Autoři: E. Angela Chan aff001;  Pak Lik Tsang aff001;  Shirley Siu Yin Ching aff001;  F. Y. Wong aff001;  Winsome Lam aff001
Působiště autorů: School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, HKSAR aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article



Despite an increase in emphasis on psychosocial care in cancer nursing, time constraints and nurses’ lack of knowledge in skilled communication continue to be challenges.


To examine how cancer care nurses view their communication with patients and how they deal with the psychosocial needs of patients in busy wards.


A qualitative interview study.


Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with eleven hospital-based cancer nurses in Hong Kong from July 2, 2017 to January 2, 2018.


A qualitative thematic analysis of the data identified three themes: 1. Intentional and unintentional psychosocial care that is secondary in focus; 2. Managing an emotionally challenged environment; 3. Mentoring and learning.


Oncology settings are time-constrained, emotionally charged environments for nurses, and providing psychosocial care for patients is a secondary concern. While proactive strategies can be used to avert patient complaints, being open and attending to the individual needs of patients is equally important to avoid blocking in nurse-patient communication. Despite emotional entanglement and tensions, the positive follow-up strategies used by nurses to manage the patients’ emotions and provide psychosocial care reflect good practices. Leadership and support are needed to deal with the nurses’ perception that their communication training has been ineffective and their ability to manage strong emotions deficient. Communication skills, honed by making continuous opportunities to communicate available, as well as an understanding of emotional labour, need to be integrated with mindfulness in the nurses’ care of themselves and their patients. Notwithstanding the importance of experience in oncology care for junior nurses, it is necessary for both junior and senior nurses to learn about and reflect upon the different forms of emotional labour if value-based care is to be provided. In addition, it is essential for junior nurses to receive continuous coaching and mentoring, and to engage in reflective learning from each clinical encounter with oncology patients.

Klíčová slova:

Anxiety – Emotions – Learning – Nurses – Oncology – Patients – Psychological and psychosocial issues – Psychological stress


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2019 Číslo 10
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