Communication Opinion Paper
Communication Opinion Paper Christine Kendall HCS/320 November 18, 2012 Tralicia Brown Communication Opinion Paper Introduction Effective communication in health care is crucial for health care professionals, the patients and the establishment providing the care. It can mean the difference between life and death. When there is not enough communication within the health care industry, medical care will not be given effectively due to mistakes that will be made when things are not clear.
When lives are at stake, effective communication is a must in the health care industry. Effective Communication and its Elements Effective communication involves more than understanding information that is being conveyed. How a person understands and receives a message are two different things therefore understanding feelings, thoughts, wants, and needs are crucial in effective communication (Cheesebro, O’Connor, & Rios, 2010). The success of every relationship whether it’s personal or professional relies on a person’s ability to communicate effectively.
Becoming a skilled communicator requires learning the elements necessary for effective public speaking, interpersonal relationships, and business relations. The four basic elements of effective communication are sender, receiver, message, and feedback. The first component is the sender/receiver which acts as a transceiver by speaking to someone and receiving nonverbal feedback simultaneously. “The message is the idea, thought, feeling, or opinion to be communicated” (Cheesebro, O’Connor, & Rios, 2010, chap 1).
It is important to recognize not only the content of the message, but also the nonverbal communication that you may be sending as well. “Feedback is the receiver’s response to the message and indicates how the message is seen, heard, and understood, and often how the receiver feels about the message and/or the sender” (Cheesebro, O’Connor, & Rios, 2010, chap 1). Elements of Effective Communication and Rules of Health Care Communication Health communication is “the way we seek, process and share health information” (du Pre, 2005, pg 8).
Health communication is based on personal goals, skills, culture, situational factors, and being considerate of other people’s feelings (du Pre, 2005). People are influenced greatly by other people and rely on others to help meet their goals. As du Pre (2005) explains health care providers have many goals such as patient health and showing their knowledge. Patient’s also have many goals when it comes to their health care such as wanting to get better and to be reassured. Whether or not these goals are met is based on effective health communication.
Recognizing interdependence and that no one communicates alone has influence on the effectiveness of communication. Being friendly and honest will help others feel comfortable enough to be friendly and honest with you. People who communicate well are sensitive to other people’s feelings and expectations. This includes listening carefully, being aware of other cultures and their personal preferences. Another example of effective communication in health is recognizing shared meaning. What an action means depends on the people and the circumstances involved” (du Pre, 2005, pg 8). This is usually based on how people respond to each other by smiling, nodding their head, or an angry look. This will let you know how people are responding to your conversation (du Pre, 2005). How to Communicate Candidly Effective interpersonal communication between a patient and a health care provider is one of the most important elements in patient satisfaction, compliance and the outcome of patient health.
Despite this acknowledgement of the importance of interpersonal communication, in medical training the subject is not always emphasized. Effective interpersonal communication can lead to the patient offering enough information to lead to a diagnosis, the provider and the client both can discuss an acceptable treatment plan, the client and the provider are both committed to fulfilling their responsibilities during and after treatment (de Negri, Brown, Hernandez, Rosenbaum, & Roter, 2012).
The following steps to effective communication and encouraging the client to communicate candidly include: encouraging a two-way dialogue, establishing a partnership between client and consumer, creating a caring atmosphere, bridging any social gaps between provider and client, accounting for social influences, effectively using verbal and non-verbal communication, and allowing the client enough time to tell their story (de Negri, Brown, Hernandez, Rosenbaum, & Roter, 2012). Cultural Differences and Communication
Excellent cultural communication skills are beneficial to relationships with colleagues, clients, and customers and improve business performance. If challenges and opportunities are handled well when working with people from different cultural backgrounds, they can increase productivity, improve performance, innovation, and progress (Kaplan & Cunningham, 2010). There are a few tips when conversing with someone from a different culture which can increase your chances for being understood. These are: Know yourself and your own cultural Context.
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Think about how your culture context impacts your communication style. Know your audience. Some cultures are more direct than others, speaking less verbally and rely more on nonverbal communication. Yes does not always mean yes. Respect English language barriers. When speaking to someone who does not speak English there are tips to make sure that you are being understood. These tips include: speak slower, avoid the use of slang words, take breaks in the conversation and don’t surprise people.
Respect your audience and do not judge. Try looking at situations with different cultures as different not right or wrong. Ask questions to make sure they understand. (Kaplan & Cunningham, 2010). Conclusion Due to the fact that when there is not enough communication within the health care industry, medical care will not be given effectively, it is crucial for health care professionals to learn the skills necessary for effective communication. It can mean the difference between life and death.