Maximising nurse-patient communication in the emergency department
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Maximising nurse-patient communication in the emergency department

Dympna Tuohy Lecturer, department of nursing and midwifery, education and health sciences faculty, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Evan Wallace Registered advanced nurse practitioner, emergency department, University Hospital Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand why nurse-patient communication in the emergency department (ED) can be challenging

  • To consider a range of practical ways in which to enhance nurse-patient communication in the ED

  • To recognise the role of audit, education, mentorship and reflection in maximising nurse-patient communication

Effective communication in the emergency department (ED) is vital for ensuring safe patient care and supporting optimal patient outcomes and satisfaction. However, such settings are often noisy, fast paced and unpredictable, which can make nurse-patient communication challenging. Effective communication requires the appropriate knowledge and skills underpinned by clarity, mutual understanding, respect and empathy. However, maximising nurse-patient communication requires various practical and strategic measures, ranging from addressing the environmental challenges of the ED and meeting patients’ individual communication needs, to implementing quality control measures and supporting mentorship, reflection and education in practice. This article offers an overview of some of the practical and strategic measures nurses of all levels and experience can apply to maximise nurse-patient communication in the ED.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2023.e2179

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Tuohy D, Wallace E (2023) Maximising nurse-patient communication in the emergency department. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2023.e2179

Published online: 01 August 2023

Want to read more?

Already have access? Log in


3-month trial offer for £5.25/month

Subscribe today and save 50% on your first three months
RCNi Plus users have full access to the following benefits:
  • Unlimited access to all 10 RCNi Journals
  • RCNi Learning featuring over 175 modules to easily earn CPD time
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Revalidation Portfolio to stay on track with your progress
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
  • A customisable dashboard with over 200 topics

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Are you a student? Our student subscription has content especially for you.
Find out more