Communication in Healthcare

Topics: Communication, Nonverbal communication, Patient Pages: 5 (1031 words) Published: June 20, 2015

Communication & Healthcare.

Whilst working in a healthcare setting there is a need for good communication. Communication is vital for a good working relationship; it encourages trust and confidence in your ability to do your work. Communication is vital between co-workers and patients alike, including other professionals and family members and carers etc. Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place to another, whether this be vocally (using voice), written (using printed or digital media such as pamphlets, websites or emails), visually (using charts or graphs) or non-verbally (using body language, gestures and the tone and pitch of voice). 

Communication Basics

The best communication methods succeed in putting across the right message in a clear, unambiguous way that gets noticed by the target audience Good communicators succeed in choosing the best medium of communication for the particular purpose in mind. For external communications, Written communications dispatched by mail Paper-based items sent by mail have the advantage of providing a clear, statement that is likely to reach its intended recipient. Oral communications: service users can telephone with their queries. They can also speak directly to the person who is managing their care. Oral communication allows most misunderstandings to be resolved immediately. Face-to-face communications e.g. appointments. This can save time and subsequent communications. Online communications. This is a cheap, quick and efficient means of communication.

Being able to communicate effectively is the most important of all life skills even more so in a healthcare setting where you are sometimes meeting people who are vulnerable.

Improving verbal communication skills is about enhancing the ability to use effective language to encourage or avoid possible breakdown in communication; encouraging the use of patient-friendly language and familiarizing the healthcare worker with language (euphemisms, and colloquialisms) commonly used by patients. Patient education is an important aspect of the Health Carers role and learners should be familiar with the language used in patient educational leaflets and websites. Communication with other healthcare professionals also requires a certain level of comfort when employing medical terminology. • It is often the nonverbal cues (or signs) or the paralinguistic elements of speech rather than what is actually said that betray true feelings and emotions. Developing non-verbal skills therefore means increasing an awareness of body language, enabling Healthcare workers to better read and interpret their patients' physical and emotional signs (expressions of anger, melancholy, etc.), while simultaneously mirroring their own verbal communication. • Employing active listening skills helps to ensure a successful interaction through techniques that facilitate discussion (leaning slightly forward, using sounds of encouragement), demonstrating that the health carer is truly listening and assimilating the information provided by the patient in order to arrive at an eventual diagnosis. • Voice management not only refers to accurate pronunciation, essential in ensuring safe practice, but also relates to appropriate pitch and intonation, which help towards establishing and maintaining rapport with the patient. If a health carer’s tone of voice fails to match the lexical input, then efforts to employ the correct phrase to reassure or empathize with the patient are wasted. This aspect of voice management is especially pertinent when dealing with native speaker Patients, where tolerance of inappropriate intonation patterns may be lower. • Cultural awareness requires a widening of understanding not only of cultural issues in their broadest sense (professional, local, medical and ethical) but also the impact of the healthcare workers own cultural background on their interactions with both patients and colleagues. It...
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