Aspects that facilitate or interfere in the communication process between nursing professionals and patients in critical state


  • Diana Marcela Achury Saldaña RN, M.Sc. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Red Internacional de Enfermería en Cuidado Crítico, National Coordinator, Colombia. email:
  • Maribel Pinilla Alarcón RN, M.Sc. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Clínica Montserrat, Colombia. email:
  • Herly Alvarado Romero RN, M.Sc. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia. email:


Communication, nurse clinicians, patient care, intensive care.


Objective. To describe aspects facilitating or interfering in the communication process between nursing professionals and patients in critical state.

Methodology. Descriptive study conducted during the second semester of 2013, with the participation of 112 nurses who work in Intensive Care Units of Bogotá (Colombia). To gather the information, the researchers designed a survey.

Results. A total of 91.6% of the nursing professionals considers communication important with patients and their families; 75.9% seeks to provide, during the care interventions, physical care and communicate per shift from two to four times with the patient and from one to two times with the family; 50% states feeling afraid to communicate; only 53.7% integrate their emotions in the patient’s physical care. Regarding the elements of communication developed during their graduate formation, 42.8% received tools of therapeutic communication during their undergraduate studies and only 33.0% during graduate studies. It is worth to indicate that 80.36% of the Intensive Care Units, where the nursing professionals work, privilege interventions aimed at satisfying physiological needs.

Conclusion. The communication process between nurses and patients in critical state is limited by restrictive institutional policies and by the nurses’ scarce academic formation. The need exists to start a process of change in relation to models of professional practice deeply rooted in physical care of critical patients to establish models that, during physical care, are centered on communication and the patient-family-professional relationship.


How to cite this article: Achury DM, Pinilla M, Alvarado H. Aspects that facilitate or interfere in the communication process between nursing professionals and patients in critical state. Invest Educ Enferm. 2015; 33(1): 

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How to Cite

Achury Saldaña, D. M., Pinilla Alarcón, M., & Alvarado Romero, H. (2015). Aspects that facilitate or interfere in the communication process between nursing professionals and patients in critical state. Investigación Y Educación En Enfermería, 33(1). Retrieved from




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