Date of Conferral







Dr. Maria Ojeda


Telehealth and face masks are some of the infection control measures nurses use while attending to patients. Nurses provide the most patient care in hospital settings and thus spend the most time with patients in their recovery journey. Because communication is paramount to the role nurses play as health care professionals, there is a substantial need to investigate how infection control measures affect the quality of nurse-patient communication. The purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional study was to describe the relationship of methods aimed at maintaining social distancing between nurses and patients to nurse-patient communication and to compare differences in the quality of communication when using such methods within the hospital setting. This study was grounded in the change theory and the mathematical theory of communication. These theories informed the study’s variables and research questions. The Nurse Quality of Communication with Patient Questionnaire was administered online to help collect the primary data used in the study. The data were analyzed using point bi-serial correlation coefficients and independent samples t tests (n=244). The results revealed a significant association between the two social distancing methods and the perceived quality of communication between nurses and patients (rpb = .656, p < .001; rpb = -.656, p < .001). The results also revealed a significant difference between the quality of nurse-patient communication when nurses use N95 masks and when nurses use telehealth devices to communicate with the patients: t (242) = -14.57, p < .001. The findings of this study will facilitate improved safety in the clinical setting and help steer cooperation between nurses and patients.