Healthcare Communication HCS/320 Healthcare Communication Strategies January 28th, 2013
Communication is the process that connects members to one another and enables them to work interdependently. (Northhouse and Northhouse, 1998, p.195). Communication is ongoing. It can be verbal or nonverbal. In the health field the way nurses communicate with patients will determine how the patient recovers. A patient who feels cared for by his or her nurse is willing to do what the nurse asks because they trusts what she says is true, and will be more willing to participate with treatment. The patient who is distrusting of their nurse will not be compliant or may not take part in self-care. Nurses communicate each day with patients and coworkers. Building effective communication skills in the healthcare industry can lead to optimal outcomes. The first step to communication is to determine what the message to be conveyed is and put it in a logical order. Make the message brief. Choosing your words correctly will allow the receiver to understand what you are saying. Be considerate of the patient’s education, cultural, knowledge base and level of understanding. When you begin to speak be sure that you have the attention of the receiver, at the end of the conversation get feedback to ensure that your message was conveyed correctly. This paper will discuss the definition of health care communication, the relevancy of effective personal healthcare communication with other health care professionals and patients, relevancy of effective healthcare communication to health outcomes, and how the lack of effective personal and professional healthcare communications contributes to poor health outcomes.
Healthcare communication can be defined as when an individual seeks information on health related issues. According to Healthy People 2010, (n.d., overview), “Health communication encompasses the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health. “The dissemination of information can be done via public communication or in an organizational context. Public communication refers to, “presentations, speeches, and public addresses made by individuals on health-related topics”. (Northouse&Northouse, 1998, p.4). Health communication in the organizational context refers to how administration or staff provides information in regard to healthcare. The use of communication for healthcare issues is important to many people in that it increases awareness of healthcare risks, benefits, availability and support systems. Public communication utilizes pamphlets, public service announcements, etc., to alert persons to health issues which can “encourage healthy behaviors, create awareness, change attitudes, and motivate individuals to adopt recommended behaviors. “(Healthy people 2010, n.d., overview). When communicating with patients the nurse needs to look at the overall picture of the patient. This is his or her values, beliefs, culture and knows the health literacy of the patient. The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. When a patient understands his or her disease process it helps that individual make the right decisions regarding their healthcare. A nurse who is able to understand a patient’s values, culture, beliefs, and incorporate them into the patients care builds a sense of trust between the patient and nurse....
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