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Personal and Professional Health Care Communication

Essay by   •  August 23, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  1,076 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,473 Views

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Personal and Professional Health Care Communication

Health care professionals, such as physicians, nurses, nursing aides and social workers spend the majority of his or her time talking with patients. Patients rely on the given information to assist them with making decisions directly related to his or her health care. Health care communication is defined as "a subset of human communication whose content is concerned with health" (Rogers, 1996, p. 15). Communication can consist of both verbal and non-verbal cues and is a process that enhances the sharing of ideas. This essay will outline the definition of health care communication; explain the relevancy of effective personal health care communication with other health care professionals, clients and patients; explain the relevancy of effective professional health care communication to health outcomes; establish how the lack of effective personal and professional health care communications contributes to poor health outcomes; and describe the theories and principals of therapeutic communication in health care setting for the healthcare professional.

The Relevancy of Effective Personal Health Care Communication

Effective personal communication is imperative to positive patient outcomes. This type of communication needs to involve the patient, physicians, nurses, others patients and basically anyone involved in the care of patients suffering from an illness.

Support groups involving patients with similar disease processes have increased in popularity in recent years. Some examples of such groups are cancer support groups, Alzheimer's support groups, and drug and alcohol addiction support groups. Each of these group settings encourages the use of communication as part of the treatment process. "Support groups are made up of people with common interests and experiences. People who have been through, or are going through, a similar circumstance can do more than sympathize with you-they can relate to what you are going through and keep you from feeling like you are alone (Randall, 2010). Support groups offer a wide range of resources such as treatment options and financial assistance.

The Relevancy of Effective Professional Health Care Communication

Physicians are looked upon as being the "know all tell all" whenever their spoken words are related to patient care. Therefore, a physician's communication with a patient should be used in the most effective format possible. Patients know that communication matters, and to most patient's effective clinician-patient communication is not an option, it is a necessity. A clinician's role in communication effectively with patients can be broken down into a process that includes the following communication tasks: engagement, empathy, education and enlistment (Mock, 2001).

From a business standpoint, effective communication between the physician and the patient would increase the potential for a patient to return to that same physician if needed. Unfortunately some aspects of health care have turned into a business. Effective communication could be considered as a main component of customer service. According to Rao "effective communication between patients and providers is increasingly recognized as an important risk-management issue, cost-containment factor, and essential component of quality health care and patient safety".

Lack of Effective Personal and Professional Health Care Communication

The lack of effective personal or professional communication could have significant influence in the quality of patient care. "Without effective, timely communication between physicians, both the quality of care and the patient experience can suffer" (Shannon, 2012). Patients with certain terminal illnesses

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