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Communication Strategies

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Communication Strategies

Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. How that information is transmitted can come from several different means. Non-verbal, verbal, written and visual are just a few of the ways in which we communicate information to each other. As each person is different so is the way they communicate. Whether it is a gesture, hand shake, eye contact or a simple smile non-verbal communication is done with no words. This powerful way to communicate can be used by all people regardless of ability. Communicating with words is known as verbal communication. With verbal communication we must hope that the person in which we are communicating with can understand what we are saying. The tone of one's voice can change the meaning of a statement without intention. Verbal communication is the hardest yet easiest of all communication. Written communication is that when words are in written forms. Written communication should be grammatically correct, organized and have good structure. Finally there is visual communication; this is what we can see with our eyes. Visual aids help us understand information in which we cannot otherwise understand. In healthcare today all types of communication are used to help with patients understanding of their care. As this field continues to grow, it is imperative to know the type of communication that is best for each individual as patient care is first priority.

Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication includes all the information we convey to others, whether consciously or subconsciously, without actually using any words (Subapriya, 2009 ). Communication can simply be described as relaying or transferring information back and forth between two people, this can occur at home, in the workplace, or at the doctor's office. The process is complete once both parties understand what is trying to be conveyed. However, most communication happens when the mouth is closed and no sound is made. Nonverbal communication can simply be described as talking without saying a word. Most people do this, and they are not even aware that they are communicating. Eye contact, gestures, facial expressions, and posture are just a few of the many forms of nonverbal communication used in everyday. "Among the various factors determining the success of an effective communication, non-verbal cues play a vital role" (Subapriya, 2009, 37). Healthcare providers, by using this form of communication unintentionally or intentionally, can sometimes be considered to have poor bedside manner by the type of nonverbal cues given to their patients. Having the provider control how he or she uses his or her nonverbal cues can help the communication between the sender and the recipient and help make for a healthier process and relationship. Not saying a word is a very powerful form of communication. Just think if this was combined with words what a powerful exchange of information this would be.

Verbal Communication

Communication is not only what one does not say but also what words that are used and how they are said. Because people's thoughts come from within there needs to be a way for them to exit the body and be received by other people. This type of communication is done through speaking. Verbal communication is very important with healthcare professionals. In every area (hospitals, nursing homes, and any medical settings) people are constantly using verbal communication to communicate with their patients and residents in regards to their care, medical procedures, and their general overall health. Verbal communication also can be formal when advising of policies and procedures and informal when conversing to get to know the patients. Talking and getting to know the patients helps ease the fears and tension that the patients may have just going in for a simple cold or general checkup. Healthcare providers that learn to be better communicators, both in verbal and nonverbal ways, can help improve the patient's health care experience and help reduce the apprehension that everyone feels when going to see his or her doctor or dentist. Communication in healthcare is becoming such a needed skill that some medical schools and healthcare training facilities are teaching the future healthcare providers the art of communication even before they learn how to pick up a stethoscope.

Written Communication

"Communication is the real work of leadership" (Nohria, 2011). Leadership begins with proper and professional communication through various channels. Leaders in the medical field must be able to use communication to the level at which it is a benefit to the patient, and as well with each heath care system. In addition to verbal and nonverbal communication in business organizations is written communication. Daily in the utilization review department at Sedgwick CMS a Workers Compensation organization, various



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