Healthcare Communication Roles
May 29, 2011
Communication in the healthcare field is important for ensuring that each patients needs are fully met. Communication within healthcare involves communication between physician and patient, medical assistant and patient, medical assistant and physician, and much more. When communication between caregivers and patients is lacking, misdiagnosis of medical conditions and other serious events can occur. Improving communication between caregiver and patient will improve the likelihood of early detection of illnesses so that they can be treated in a timely manner. Good communication can come in many forms, such as, verbal, nonverbal, and environmental. Verbal communication involves using words to communicate with others. Nonverbal communication involves using hands, eyes, and other tools to communicate with others. Environmental communication involves the use of objects and colors to produce inviting feelings toward others. Scenario
In this scenario, Vivian was suffering from severe abdominal pain and since her insurance was now effective, she chose to make a doctor appointment to find out the reason for her pain. Upon arrival at the doctor’s office, she noticed the waiting area was not very inviting and seemed rather gloomy. The environmental setting of any healthcare setting can damper or enlighten a patient from the start. As Vivian was signing in at the front desk she really wanted to speak to someone about the urgency of her problem, however, the office assistant was very abrupt and uncaring about what Vivian had to say. The assistance behaviors were a combination of verbal and nonverbal communication that was not very inviting to Vivian. Instead of giving Vivian the opportunity to voice her concerns, she interrupts her and abruptly sends her to her seat. Vivian could have encouraged the assistant to be more courteous; however, she choice to sit in discomfort until it was her time to visit the physician. Once Vivian was called back to a room and the physician entered the room, the physician was in such a hurry that he did not make any form of eye contact with Vivian and was very short with questioning. Dr. Walls performed common checks and asked a minimal number of questions that Vivian answered briefly before he began writing more notes. Once he was done with his notes, Dr. Walls made a quick diagnosis and treatment option. Once the Dr. Walls was done, he asked Vivian if she had any question, however, Vivian chose not to ask any question although she had many concerns. If Dr. Walls had shown more concern and nonverbal communication, Vivian may have been more open to communicate her feelings and concerns. Key Perspectives
One of the key perspectives in this scenario is the patient. Vivian struggles with communicating stemmed from the discouraging behavior and environment of the physician office décor, office assistance lack of care, and the hurried behavior of the physician. The feeling of being rushed to complete the visit discouraged Vivian from communicating her true feelings about her ailments and to provide detailed information that may have been important to the diagnosing of her condition. Another key perspective of this scenario was the medical assistant. The lack of courteous behavior from the office assistant that hindered the start of the visit at the physician office. The stress and workload may be the cause of the behaviors of the office assistant. Stress and burnout can make people short tempered and move between tasks too quickly. Medical assistants have a stressful job and those stresses should remain under control when patient’s needs are at stake. Taking control of the situation and making all patients feel comfortable when visiting the office is one of the most important factors in their job. The next perspective involved in this scenario is the caregiver. The physician lacked the one-on-one...
References: Negri, Berengere de; Brown, Lori; Hernandez, Orlando; Rosenbaum, Julia; Roter, Debra. Improving Interpersonal Communication Between Health Care Providers and Clients. Retrieved from www.globalhealthcommunication.org.
American Medical Association. 2006. Improving Communication – Improving Care. Retrieved from www.ama-assn.org.
Warth MD, Gregory. 2009. The Art of Patient Care. Retrieved from www.art-of-patient-care.com.
DuPre. Communicating About Health: Current Issues and Perspectives. 2004.
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