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Can you explain how effective communication in healthcare incorporates the basic...

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Can you explain how effective communication in healthcare incorporates the basic elements of communication?

"The basic communication model consists of five elements of communication: the sender, the receiver, the message, the channel and feedback."


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Communication is vitally important to any profession, and of course the health care profession is no exception. Being a health care professional involves interacting with different audiences, such as patients/clients, health care providers, colleagues, administrators, businesses, and more. Different kinds of communication are required for different audiences.  

Three key elements of communication include listening, writing, and speaking. All three of them are essential to effective communication in the health care field.

Listening is part of learning, and becoming a good listener is key to ensuring health care providers gather all the important information, including things that cannot be determined by checking boxes on a form or by reading symptoms on a chart. Active listening is an area on which you might concentrate:

Active listening: listening with undivided attention and an open mind and being able to summarize the message accurately.

The value of listening is often overlooked, but listening is arguably more important than speaking when information must be gathered. Active listening is key to creating a feeling of goodwill and empathy, as well. The eNotes link on listening is a good resource for this subject.

Writing is another component of effective communication which is particularly important in the health care field. This would include the documentation and reports so necessary for successful care and follow-up. The eNotes link (below) has some specific ideas for other aspects of written communication which might apply, such as e-mail.

Finally, speaking is the most obvious element of communication and it is one which we tend to think we have mastered because we do it all the time. Perhaps something to concentrate on here is the group of things which are part of speaking but are not speech, including eye contact, nonverbal communication, body language, tone of voice, interruptions, and more. The eNotes link on communication which I have included is an excellent place to begin.

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