In the field of nursing the ability to deliver an effective and assertive response to a potentially negative and/ or detrimental situation is a significant lifesaving skill. Susanne Gaddis denotes that, nursing entails many personalities with different temperaments, thus, there are many possibilities that nurses who are actively involved in this profession will face critical situations which will require them to apply appropriate communication skills so as to address them successfully (Carolyn, 2003).
One of the most simple concept and important tool of communication is self assertion. Self assertion or assertiveness is an important interpersonal communication skill which can be learned and be practiced every day. Assertiveness helps one to express opinions, thoughts and feelings plainly and honestly in a friendly manner. Additionally, assertiveness allows effective communication and dialogue about one’s legitimate rights to take place smoothly (Villanova University, 2007).
Assertiveness makes one to boost his/her self-esteem and earn other peoples respect. This quality helps one to mange stress especially when involved in too many responsibilities which require him/her to make critical decisions involving rejection or acceptance.
From the foregoing, it is evident that a nurse should be assertive all the time. This will help him/her to reduce the dairy stress encountered while carrying out dairy activities. Assertiveness will enable the nurse to express him/herself effectively and stand up for his/her point of view while respecting the rights and beliefs of both patients and colleagues (Susanne, ND).
Assertive communication makes sense because it is based on mutual respect. Therefore, a nurses who communicates assertively shows respect to him/herself by willing to stand up for his/her interests and express his/her feelings and thoughts. This also, demonstrates that, they understand other people’s rights and are ready to work on resolving conflicts. Assertive communication gives one, the best chance to successfully deriver the message in a friendly manner (Carolyn, 2003).
A nurse being assertive is accompanied by very many benefits. Research has revealed that being more assertive can help people deal with mental health problems, like, depression, social anxiety disorder and anorexia. In fact, the work nurses are associated with requires them to be assertive so that they can be able to do their dairy responsibilities and job requirements effectively. Assertiveness will make a nurse gain more job satisfaction, create honest relationships and serve people with respect and honor while being respected.
A nurse should maintain assertiveness all the time. This will help him/her to meet his/her needs, while keen not to trespass others’ needs. Furthermore, assertiveness will help the nurse to communicate with an open stance, maintain eye contact, and use appropriate distance, head nods and lean forward to listen carefully to the speaker.
Despite the fact that assertiveness is the best tool of communicating effectively, it can sometimes cause disruptions in ones life. Often there is pain that is associated with honest and caring confrontation (Carolyn, 2003). A nurse, therefore, may at times decide to become non- assertive depending on the situation. For instance a nurse may be forced to work overtime a particular day, which is contrary to his/ her job right. The circumstanced forcing overtime work may be genuine and thus refusing the duty although genuine may cause more harm than peace. Or a nurse may communicate his/ her need positively but still have another person react in unfriendly manner. In such a situation maintaining one authentic self may cause a painful experience. This calls for the nurse to risk dissension and become vulnerable so as to save the situation.
Susanne, G., (ND). the communication doctor article “The communications for effective communication” at www.communicationsdoctor.com
Carolyn, C. C., (2003). Holistic assertiveness skills for nurses: empower yourself and others. Springer Publishing Company.
Villanova University, (2007). Assertiveness. Retrieved Oct. 4, 2008 from the World Wide Web: http://www.villanova.edu/studentlife/counselingcenter/infosheets/psych_topics.htm?page=asserti veness.htm