Improving communication skills in healthcare settings

Topics: Health care provider, Health care, Healthcare Pages: 7 (1362 words) Published: September 22, 2014

Personal and Professional Health Care Communication
Scherito Murray
Myrtle E. Perdue, RN, BSN, MSN, MSL

Personal and Professional Health Care Communication
Communication is the heart of conveying a message in the health care world, whether it is with patients and members of their family, physicians, peers, or other clinical staff. The way we communicate affects everything and everyone around us. Communication is essential in the workplace. It contributes to safety, proper care, goal settings, and cultural sensitivity with patients and caregivers. When effective communication is not used in the health care setting, it can cause confusion between physicians and nurses and between nurses and patients, which can make the outcome unpleasant, leading to miscommunication. Miscommunication may also lend itself to becoming a matter of life or death. A person who possesses effective communication skills, in this writer’s opinion, is someone who will excel among his or her peers. This paper will highlight information about health care communication; the relevancy of effective personal health care communication with other health care professionals, clients, and patients; the relevancy of effective professional health care communication to health outcomes; how the lack of effective personal and professional communication contributes to poor health outcomes; and the theories and principles of therapeutic communication in health care setting for the healthcare professional. Health Care Communication

Health care communication, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention is, "The study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual decisions that enhance health." (, 2011). Effective health communication is imperative to the enhancement of health. According to Boston University, which quoted Healthy People 2010, the scope of health communication includes disease prevention, health promotion, health care policy, and the business of health care as well as enhancement of the quality of life and health of individuals within the community.” (Boston, n.d). It is very important that the message is clear, concise, and correct. The nurses need to teach patients in a way that is simple and that can be easily understood. There are different types of communication. It may be written, verbal, and non-verbal (body language). An example of using all three types of communication would be during the education process of a patient during discharge instructions. This is when the nurse needs to convey a clear message in order for the patient to understand what he/she needs to do when returning home to care for him / herself. The nurse should be confident in the delivery of the message because body language (non-verbal communication), can betray the verbal part of the communication. To ensure understanding from the patient, the nurse should gain clarification from the patient by asking the patient to repeat what he/she gained from the information. Allowing the patient to ask questions and by asking the patient for a return demonstration is also helpful in establishing understanding. Nurses should never assume that the patient understands what was being said to them. They should always seek clarification. Personal Health Care Communication I

The importance and relevancy of professional health care communication with other professional, patients, and clients, as a mentioned before, can be a matter of life or death. Nurses are responsible for the safe delivery of care to their patients. Good communication skills are of paramount importance to good clinical care, because a breakdown in communication can cause adverse effects and even death. It affects patient satisfaction, teamwork, patient’s safety, and compliance with treatment. The core of effective communication within health care or even one’s personal life is simple. It starts with...

References: Boston University College of Communication & Metropolitan College, (n.d.). Health communication.
Retrieved from
Centers of Disease Control and prevention, 2011: Health communication basics. Retrieved from
Institute for Healthcare Communication. (2011). Impact of communication in healthcare. Retrieved from
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Improving Healthcare Essay
  • Improving Healthcare Quality Essay
  • Improving Communication Skills Essay
  • Improving Communication Skills Essay
  • Improving Communication Skills Essay
  • Healthcare Essay
  • Effective Practices in Improving the Quality of Healthcare Essay
  • Essay about Healthcare Communications

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free