Essay on Communication in the Healthcare Industry

712 Words May 8th, 2012 3 Pages
Communication plays a vital role in the healthcare setting, as the relationship with the healthcare professional sets the tone of the care experience and has a powerful impact on patient satisfaction. It is “the shared process in which messages are sent and received between two or more people which are made up of a sender, receiver, and message in a particular context” (cite, date). This essay highlights the importance of, and some common barriers to, effective communication in the healthcare setting. It involves many interpersonal skills such as effective observation, questioning and listening, giving feedback, recognizing and removing barriers.

During treatment, patients interact more with nurses than any other health professional in
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Problems with verbal communication in the healthcare setting emerge from the fact that nurses and others in the healthcare setting receive little education on how to communicate effectively with each other.

Each nurse also has specific ideas or beliefs about what information should be communicated during a verbal report. Valuable information may not be provided or may be forgotten (Casey & Wallis, 2011). Writing information down may help a nurse recall the data later, but if there is no consistent format for recording the information, it may be lost regardless. Interruptions, distractions, and the frequency of communications also may negatively effect the communication process and contribute to a nurse forgetting to share important information (Cacolice-Hildebrand, 2008). Active listening, which involves reflecting back a meaningful understanding of one’s message, is one of the most important skills in effective communication.

Non-verbal communication refers to the communication and interpretation of information by any means other than language. Non-verbal communication includes communication through any behavioral or expressive channel of communication such as facial expression, bodily movements, vocal tone and pitch, and many other channels. Patients are particularly sensitive to nurses’ non-verbal behaviors because they are often nervous and insecure and
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