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Healthcare communication can be affected and perceived in divergent ways. Some of the ways comprise of the roles of the patient, perspectives of the health practitioners, cultural beliefs and views, body language, environmental factors, time restraints, job parameters, levels of burnout and stress and others. What would really happen if the care providers failed to integrate the patient’s cultural, personal and other crucial preferences? Would such a scenario result to the patients refusing to seek services that they need? Would there be a likelihood of an incorrect diagnosis? These issues are already in existence today despite the fact that most health providers are usually proficient in accommodating and acknowledging religious and cultural differences that do relate to health care. In today’s, medical field the medical practitioners do take divergent approaches to bridge the barriers to understanding and communication that do stem from linguistic, cultural, racial as well as ethnic differences. Communication which is usually the acts of both nonverbal and verbal means is not only based on the words that do come from people’s mouth but also the approach to which they are used in. Communication should be based on conquering personal goals that are set by the care providers, friends, patients’ family and the patient. Patients are usually interactors in their hospital visits and their perceptions on coordinated care are usually affected by the communication patterns among the health professionals (Beaudin, Lammers & Pedroja. 1999. pp. 331). Effectual health communication help in raising awareness of the solutions and health risks, offer skills and the motivation that is required and reinforce attitudes. Effective communication between the health provider and the patient goes a long way in determining the outcome as shown in the case study below.
The case scenario
In this case, Vivian had been suffering from some abdominal pains but did not seek for medical attention earlier hence decides to seek for it when she acquires the proper insurance. When she receives the insurance she goes ahead to seek for an appointment with a doctor where she gets into a room which is gray and only holds some few chairs and a note on the wall that state “ turn off cell phones” and “have a co-pay ready”. When she arrives at the doctor’s office Vivian is anxious in expressing her need for treatment to the assistant but to her disguise she is met by a person who only interrupts her when she is communicating and then another patient is called. When she goes back to the examining room, she is then met by a doctor who asks her questions in a hurry which are only medically related. The doctor then prescribes some medication and stipulates that she might be having ulcers and instruct her to set an appointment for the ultrasound. The doctor then wakes and when he is almost at the door asks whether Vivian has more questions and she responds that she has none.
Case analysis (key player perspectives)
Caregiver and the medical assistant
It is patent that Vivian was met with the most ineffective poor health communication strategies. The medical assistant did not only use the block technique but made sure that Vivian felt more uneasy. He used a blocking and interruptive style in order to avoid the emotional disclosure of the patient. This acted as the major mishap to her unwillingness in being assertive during the medical examination. The medical assistant acted unprofessional and she was so much in a hurry to get other patients done because of the time constraint factor. She should have used a more concerned and friendly approach in order to make the patient feel at ease. This scenario portrays a recommendable overview of how some factors like blocking and ignoring the patient’s emotional factors result to poor communication.
For example the caregiver in this scenario used closed questions where by the patient was in no any position to give her own account of what exactly she was feeling. The closed questions in this case were enabled thus the primary concern revealing why the patient visited were ignored and the patient was not given any room to express her major concerns and needs. The care giver used physician centered approach and a biomedical model.
The visit comprised of time constraints from the doctor thus there was no any time to note any burn out or distress from the patient. There were no any signs of attentive and reasonable listening skills offered by the doctor thus the patient was left with only one option but to be overwhelmed as her concerns were not given room to be addressed.
The caregiver use of close communication impacted wrongly on the patient and made Vivian uneasy since she had no opportunity to feel at ease and open up on other troubling factors. The caregiver was in a hurry to get done and thus had no time to listen to his patient and get more details on her health issues.
The patient was overwhelmed by the whole situation on the grounds she felt uneasy and felt that there was no any room to express her opinions. The room was full of grey colors thus contributing more to her anxiety. The poor communication left no any room to discuss some of her beliefs on medicine or cultural factors that may impact positively to her health. She might have even felt that she was in the wrong place and wasting the caregiver’s time. Such a patient might have problems coming to the hospital for the second time because of the ill treatment. It was quite unethical for the doctor to speculate and tell her she might have been having ulcers with no proper checking. This might have led to her having more stress considering the state that she was already in.
Most health practitioners favor the use of synchronous communication styles even when they are aware that these are ineffective channels of communication. This kind of communication contributes largely to an interruptive environment and increases the potential for some clinical errors. Given the imperativeness of some of the interpersonal communication, it is not usually surprising that failures in communication are a contributor to adverse outcomes. Poor communication in an organized health care can result from overworked health practitioners as well as hiring in experienced practitioners. Fatigue can also be a major reason for medical practitioners to portray poor communication skills (Brown, Dunn, Stewart, et al, 2009, pp. 1595-1602).
Poor communication can also result from poor listening skills. There are other numerous contributors of ineffective communication including the exceeding of the cognitive limits.
The biomedical model and physician centered approach can impede the patient to disclose some of her concerns and problems. A patient centered model of approach can enhance physician and the patient communication. This will help in improving the outcomes, patient satisfaction and compliance. The doctors should practice the biopsychosocial model of approach that entails analyzing the emotions, social factors, behaviors and thoughts of the patient. This will make the patient to feel more at ease. The caregivers should also practice Transcultural theory in order to analyze the cultural beliefs and views of the patients that may have an impact on their health. The caregivers should understand their role in an organized health setting and realize that the cultural beliefs, emotional considerations, values and effective communication are imperative as far as patients are concerned.
There should be enhancement of more effective open communication. This could have been enhanced by reconstructing the hospital environment in order to allow more room for relaxation. There should have been consideration of more neutral colors instead of grey and may be an inclusion of a scenic view. There should have been a more comfortable sitting arrangement for the waiting patients so that the patients can be accorded with the right comfort. Each area should have a radio or may be television in order to offer relaxation to the patients and the caregiver or the doctor should have offered a more intellectual approach to the patient showing concern. The health practitioners should use an opened rationale of communication and learn to use facial expressions like attentively looking at the patient’s eyes so that she or he will feel comfortable and cared for. For patients effectual communication can help to raise awareness of the risks in health and solutions as well as offer the skills and motivation that is needed in reducing the health risks. Health communication helps in amplifying the demand for effective health services. The care provider should have used effective communication in order to prevent anxiety and promote health. The medical assistant should have an interactive approach of communication to make the patient to feel more at ease. Issues that do affect the health workplaces do range from grave concerns that affect the physical safety of the workers to those that would enhance efficiency and productivity. The health practitioners should have considered the issue of effectual teamwork as a major prerequisite for the patients. This will help a lot in avoiding overburdening of tasks among the health practitioners as they have an ample time to cater for the patients.
Health care communication is an imperative tool that any organized health setting should focus on. Health care workers should practice transcultural and psychosocial models in their practice and involve open communication as well as interactive communication strategies in order to consider the emotions, values, beliefs and concerns of the patient. This will also help in improving the outcome of the patients.