Nonverbal Communication Tool

Did you know that most of the grievances received by the Network stem from poor communication between facility staff and patients?  Dialysis staff have a very difficult job and so first off, we want to thank you for all that you do to serve our ESRD population.  Network 16 is a very diverse geographic area and as a result we have many patients who speak many different languages.  This can often make communicating properly with some folks very difficult.  We encourage you to use a certified translator when discussing treatment related items or when having a lengthy conversation surrounding a patient’s care.  However, we know that a translator cannot be used for every single interaction and we want to help you with that.

The Non-verbal or Non-English speaking Communication Tool at is in English and Spanish, but is designed so that any patient, speaking any language, can understand what each picture represents.  This tool can be used during your pre- and post-assessments with any non-English-speaking or non-verbal patient, and it was designed specifically for dialysis needs.


  • Print double sided and in color.
  • Laminate so the tool can be cleaned as required for proper infection control
  • Consider hanging the tool at each station for easy access and use

We hope you find this tool beneficial in improving your ability to communicate with your patients.

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