Communication Opinion Paper
Effective communication is a vital aspect of health care. It is defined as “the way we seek, process and share health information” and is most successful when there is active involvement of all parties (Du Pre’, 2005). Health communication plays a crucial part in attaining medical objectives, maximizing health information, and improving patient well-being. This paper will discuss how effective communication incorporates the basic elements of communication, differentiate the basic elements of effective communication and basic rules of health care communication, set examples of how a provider can encourage a reluctant consumer to communicate candidly, and discuss how cultural differences affects communication.
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Amidst the similarities, there are differences between the basic rules of communication and healthcare communication. Instead of having a simple two-way exchange between a sender and receiver, healthcare communication can partake many subjects each with their personal goal. Also, the feedback is not limited from sender to receiver, but can extend to multiple parties, from healthcare professional to consumer, to organizations. A provider may encourage a reluctant consumer to communicate candidly through various means. First, the provider must make every effort to be friendly and receptive. Often, a patient’s openness to a healthcare professional is dependent on a positive attitude that is initially expressed to him or her. In addition, a presence of sensitivity towards the consumer would aid in attaining candid communication. A provider must be willing to look, listen carefully, realize and act upon cues provided by the consumer as to how one should react and communicate further (Du Pre’, 2005). Furthermore, it would also be beneficial if a person can express emotions that span many cultures. Being well-versed and knowledgeable in various cultures can help reduce uncomfortable situations and improve outcomes. As mentioned, cultural difference has a strong influence on communication. Cultural sensitivity is vital in understanding patients and communicating effectively. Every culture has