Personal and Professional Health Care Communication Paper

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 357
  • Published: October 15, 2012
Read full document
Text Preview
Personal and Professional Health Care Communication Paper
Effective communication is a basic skill that everyone should possess. The ways we communicate are crucial to many aspects of our lives. The role of communication is even greater for those who are in the health care field. Clear and concise instructions must be given in order to facilitate effective communication with others. This paper will define health care communication, the importance of effective personal health care communication with other health care professionals and patients, and how the lack of effective personal and professional health care communication contributes to poor health outcomes. It will also outline the theories and principles of therapeutic communication in health care settings for the health care professional. Health care communication is defined as, “a multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach to reach different audiences and share health-related information with the goal of influencing, engaging and supporting individuals, communities, health professionals, special groups, policy makers and the public to champion, introduce, adopt, or sustain a behavior, practice or policy that will ultimately improve health outcomes.” Schiavo, R. 2007, p. 7. The health care profession is a team made up of the patient and a group of multiple interdisciplinary members, such as doctors, nurse and aides. It is important to remember when communicating within the team that each team member plays a specific and unique role. Communication must be patient- centered in order to be effective, whether speaking with the dietician about a diabetic patient’s meal plan, consulting with the social worker to ensure the right placement for the elderly Alzheimer patient, or delegating the task of taking post-operative vital signs to the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Information has to be relayed in a way that will be beneficial to the patient and entire health care team. Poor health care communication can ultimately affect health care outcomes. Good care depends upon effective communication between the patient and the health care team. Ineffective communication can lead to improper diagnosis and delayed or improper medical treatment. For example, when this writer started working as a nurse during orientation, she was told how an x-ray technician informed a patient who had a mammogram done that everything was fine. The patient interpreted that information as the exam being negative, and therefore did not follow up with her doctor. What the technician meant was the exam was negative; another set of films did not have to be taken. The patient still needed to follow up with her doctor for test results. This example illustrates a breakdown in the communication process. It is very important to be clear and concise when one speaks to patients, doctors or other members of the health care team. If this writer is instructing a patient about the importance of getting lab work done to check her Prothrombin Time and International Normalized Ratio (PT and INR) for the Coumadin she will be taking after being discharged from the hospital, these instructions would need to be conveyed in language that is easily understood by the patient. When communicating with other health care professionals and patients, it is important that the exchange is geared to enhancing patient satisfaction, treatment compliance, and health care outcomes. “Patients who have an understanding of their disease and its treatment and also feel the service provider is involved regarding their well-being demonstrate higher satisfaction with the health care obtained tend to be more prone to adhere to treatment regimens.” (Northouse & Northouse, 1998). The lack of effective personal and professional health care communication can and does contribute to poor health outcomes. Lack of communication creates situations where medical errors are more likely to occur. These errors have the potential to cause severe injury...
tracking img