Health Care Communication
April 27, 2015
Health Care Communication
Effective communication is a key element for success in health care. There are all types of communication, but communicating effectively within a health care environment is crucial. The basic elements of communication differ from those of health care communication. There are also different components that may influence communication, such as cultural differences. None the less, there are ways that we can encourage better communication in health care, especially between the health care provider, and the patient. There are some basic elements to communication. First there has to be a sender who is trying to communicate. There must also be a receiver to whom the sender is communicating. The message is what the sender is trying to get thru to the receiver. Then there is the channel, or the method in which the sender chooses to communicate. Last, is the feedback; which is the receiver’s response to the sender. In a health care setting, anyone can take the role of the sender and the receiver. For example, a physician can be the sender. When a patient is being seen, the patient becomes the receiver. The basic elements of
communication differ from the basic rules of health care communication because in health care communication the information that is being shared is health information. According to Athena du Pre (2005), “One reason health communication is so dramatic and interdependent is that health itself is dynamic and interdependent.” A person’s well being relies on those they are communicating with. Without proper communication the care of the patient will not advance. Communication within a health care setting is extremely important. There are many avenues in health care communication. There is the communication between employees, providers, patients, and other professionals that aid in the care of the patient. Communication between a healthcare providers and their patient is of the upmost importance. Even though all parties involved play an important part in the patient’s plan of care, communication from the healthcare provider to the patient himself, is the most important of all. First, a patient must be able to express their concerns. If there is a problem then the responsibility lays on that of the health care provider to find an aid in their communication problem. If the professionals or employees have a difficult time with communication, there are several steps that can be taken to ensure proper communication. Training is one of these many steps. “Studies have reported significant improvements of the patients’ adherence when physicians received communication training” (Measurement of Physician-Patient Communication, 2014). When a health care provider is faced with a patient who is reluctant to communicate, it is wise to establish a professional relationship with the patient. When consumers feel reassured, they are less likely to keep things to themselves. Patients will feel confident to express their concerns, and maybe even voice their opinions when consulting with the health care professional. The patient is, after all, the one who is receiving medical attention. There are elements that can influence our communication. These elements include race, gender and age, but one of the most common elements is cultural differences. A person’s culture may shape the way that they think, speak, and listen; all of which factor in to communication. If two people from different cultures are communicating, their beliefs may interfere with the message. Regardless of whether you are the receiver, or the sender, a person’s culture will create false assumptions. False assumptions may create misunderstandings, therefore creating a barrier within the communication process. Once emotions surface, there may be other elements that interfere with a clear method of communication. As an example, a person from a particular...
References: Athena du Pré/University of Phoenix. ((2005, 2000)). Communicating About Health. Retrieved from Athena du Pré/University of Phoenix HCS/320 website.
Zill, J.M., Christalle, E., Muller, E., Harter, M., Dirmaier, J., & Scholl, I. (2014). Measurement of Physician-Patient Communication-A Systematic Review. Plos ONE, 9(12), 1-20. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112637
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