Communication in the Healthcare Industry

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Communication plays a vital role in the healthcare setting, as the relationship with the healthcare professional sets the tone of the care experience and has a powerful impact on patient satisfaction. It is “the shared process in which messages are sent and received between two or more people which are made up of a sender, receiver, and message in a particular context” (cite, date). This essay highlights the importance of, and some common barriers to, effective communication in the healthcare setting. It involves many interpersonal skills such as effective observation, questioning and listening, giving feedback, recognizing and removing barriers.

During treatment, patients interact more with nurses than any other health professional in the hospital or healthcare setting (Cacolice-Hildebrand, 2008). Nurses should try to interact with patients by using the full range of communication skills at their disposal, to help patients realize that practitioners are there to help as much as they possibly can, both physically and psychologically, in light of their patients’ vulnerable state of health (Casey & Wallis, 2011).

Effective communication strategies are essential when building a relationship with the patient so that misunderstandings and confusion do not occur (Leonard & Frankel, 2011). Patients must be given time and space to express any fears, anxieties, concerns or worries they may have. Using empathy to illustrate sensitivity to others can significantly enhance the development of therapeutic relationships between health professionals and patients. Effective listeners are able to use empathy and therefore appreciate and understand the other person’s point of view.

Building a therapeutic relationship with patients and their families play a fundamental role in the quality of stay in hospital. This is enabled through the use of verbal and non-verbal communication (Fallowfield, 2008). In healthcare facilities, verbal communication is a primary way in which...
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