Body language every nurse should know


Patient’s family members
When communicating with a patient’s family members, watch for these subtle body angles that speak volumes:

Image: James Woodson | Digital Vision | Getty Images

1. Leaning away

We lean away from things and people we don’t like, even from coworkers, when they say things we don’t agree with. If a nurse notices this behavior, it’s a sure sign that some part of the communication needs to be clarified.

2. Crossing of arms

A sudden crossing of the arms during a conversation could also indicate discomfort. Reading all these signs correctly could greatly improve the interaction and the customer satisfaction—in this case, the patient’s family members.

3. Intense eye contact

While direct and prolonged eye contact typically signifies openness and engagement, an exaggerated ‘hard’ stare’ is a sign that a patient’s family member may be feeling hostile.

Patients | Coworkers | Manager | Patient’s Family | Different Cultures | Improve Your Workday

Vlad Zachary
"America’s Professional Coach" Vlad Zachary is a leading expert in career and professional coaching with award-winning and world-recognized publications. He is the CEO of, founder of, and the author of the DVD Mastering the Job Interview and several e-books on healthcare, communications, psychology and career development.

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