Healthcare Communications

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Personal and Professional Healthcare Communication
Communication is a vital ingredient in the delivery of healthcare. It allows the exchange of thoughts and ideas by way of verbal and non-verbal means. Effective communication integrates the use of active listening, paraphrasing, touch, empathy and feedback. This paper will discuss healthcare communication, the relevancy of effective personal healthcare communication between healthcare professionals and patients, the importance of effective communication to healthcare outcomes, how ineffective personal and professional communication contributes to poor health outcomes and the principles of therapeutic communication that should be used by the healthcare professional in the healthcare setting. “Communication is a two- way process where meaning is stimulated in the mind of others using verbal and non-verbal messages.” (Grover, 2005) Effective communication is determined by the mutual giving and receiving of information in a style that produces understanding and awareness of the persons communicating. Healthcare communication is any human communication that deals with the assessment, delivery, or evaluation of healthcare. It can take place on several levels, including interpersonal communication, small group communication, organizational communication and mass communication. (Northouse & Northouse, 1998) The healthcare professional uses their senses for effective assessment: inspection, auscultation, palpation and percussion. These skills are integral to effective communication as well. When a diagnosis is determined, the healthcare professional must then assess how to transmit the information gathered or the diagnosis to the receiver, either another healthcare professional or the patient. To effectively deliver the information, the healthcare professional must assess the situation and how the information delivered might affect the receiver, and then decide on the appropriate words, gestures and facial expressions...
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