Five Elements for Effective Communication

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Communication Opinion Paper

The whole point of communicating is so that the sharing of information between two or more people to reach a common understanding. In the health care field it is very important that both the health care provider and the patient understand each other properly. Effective communication incorporates the basic elements of communication by using the basic communication model. This model consists of five elements of communication: the sender, the receiver, the message, the channel and feedback.
It is vitally important as a health care professional to have effective communication skills. It is also very important that the patient also is able to communicate effectively to their health care professionals (doctors, nurses, therapist, administrators). "Studies over the last three decades identify communication problems as persistent causes for concern in the delivery of health care." Having a high level of effective communication is necessary to help ensure all information is understood, mistakes will be minimal if at all and lastly the quality of health care that will be received is high.
When health care communication is done properly it will help patients/individuals become more aware of the current and future health risks they may face. It also helps patients better understand necessary preventative measure that should be put in place to help lower the risk they may face for certain conditions and diseases. It also helps patients to understand what measure may need to be taken if preventative measures have failed or it is too late for them. Here are some attributes to effective health care communication: accuracy, availability, balance, consistency, cultural competence, evidence base, reach, reliability, repetition, timeliness and understandability.
One way a health care provider may encourage a reluctant consumer to communicate more candidly is by the health care providers demeanor. If the health care provider is compassionate and



References: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010: Health Communication. 2nd ed. With Understanding and Improving Health and Objectives for Improving Health. 2 vols. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; November 2000. p.3. Papa, J. (n.d.). Effective Health Care Communication. , (),Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/about_5421324_effective-healthcare-communication.html Du Pre, A. (2005). Communicating about health care (2nd ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

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