During this stage, the nurse gathers relevant data from the patients, primarily, the most relevant medical g history. At this important stage the emphasis of the process lies on the patient, and as in a usual professional-client relationship, communication skills emerges as the most important tool in this interaction. According to Peplau (1997), the emphasis and concentration of the nurse during the phase should be based on active listening skills, and whenever necessary asking the patient questions to probe their own description and personal experiences. In practice and ethically, nurses must walk the thin line between client service and avoidance of personal bias, prejudice or even sharing personal stories. Sharing of personal experiences while with the client the tables are reversed and the client becomes the listening ear for the nurse, and the nurse needs shall be the focus other than the other way round. This role is purely a professional call and there at times when shifting from a social relationship to a professional one becomes daunting and uncomfortable.
There are various literatures that discount and explore an actual study of the nurse and patient relationship during the three phases, but since the major focus is on the first phase, this paper shall explore the relationship with regard to the orientation phase, and some of the studies have involved nursing student’s relationship with their patients. Forchuk (1994) is one such example of a scientific research that subjected Peplau’s theory to a test at the orientation phase. In the paper, the researchers studied 124 nurse-patient pairs, and according to Forchuk (1994), presuppositions of the patient and the nurse have a relation to the growth of the therapeutic relations.