Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 8-11-1958


In response to the growing concern for effective communication encountered in the modern hospital this study sought to discover a method that would improve attitudes of the hospital head nurses toward communication. A short introductory course in "general semantics" using three selected basic premises was prepared to be used in a "one-group" experiment. The three basic premises selected were: non-identity, non-allness, and self-reflexiveness. Eight head nurses of a large metropolitan hospital participated in the study as part of their in-service education program. In a controlled situation an "attitude judgment survey" was administered to the group as a pre-test. The short introduction to "general semantics" was given in nine hours over a period of six weeks. The "attitude judgment survey" was then given at the last session as the posttest. An analysis of the "quality of attitude" was then made for each test. The raw score range on the pre-test was 117 to 141 and on the post-test from 123 to 141. Each head nurse improved her score with the exception of one. The mean of the total possible points of 147 was 128.25 on the pre-test compared to 136.37 on the posttest. An analysis of the standard deviation indicated a more homogeneous group at the end of the course. Recommendations were made that a more comprehensive study of "general semantics" be used to improve the attitudes of all nursing personnel toward communication and that "general semantics" should be integrated through-out the basic nursing curriculum. A third recommendation was that communication workshops on "general semantics" applied to nursing be planned through universities for all' nursing personnel.