March 5, 2012
Personal and Professional Communications
Communication is an art as well as a skill and affects all we do. Whatever the forum or platform used, communication is how we express information, thoughts and concerns. Healthcare communication is an entity all its own and requires careful study and understanding. In no other type of interaction can miscommunication or misunderstanding have grave consequences if information is not sent and processed correctly. According to “Impact of Communication in Healthcare” (2011), “Research evidence indicates that there are strong positive relationships between a healthcare team member’s communication skills and a patient’s capacity to follow through with medical recommendations, self-manage a chronic medical condition, and adopt preventive health behaviors (para. 1). Learning and applying the art of healthcare communication encompasses thorough understanding, establishes relevancy with both the professional and layperson, affects health outcomes, while having profound influence on therapeutic contact. Before asserting healthcare communication it is necessary to explore the definition of communication itself. Northouse & Northouse (1998) offer human communication is the exchange of ideas involving the use of language and symbols. In the animal kingdom, however; communication still takes places without the use of spoken language and symbols as the human species knows it but rather utilizes sounds and behaviors. Healthcare communication is much narrower in scale and expresses ideas or concerns related to healthcare issues and health outcomes (Northouse & Northouse, 1998). It is only in the last several decades the field of health communication that it has emerged as a specialty in communication field. It continues to evolve and experience rapid growth and overlaps or parallels other fields. Whether it is medicine, nursing, social work, public...