There are five elements of communication: the sender, the receiver, the message, the channel, and feedback. Being able to communicate effectively plays a vital role on our personal and business relationships. Everybody communicate every day, it is unavoidable. The sender the one who initiates the communication. The sender needs to be effective in communicating whether it is verbally or nonverbally so that the message comes across as the sender wants it to. Use proper grammar to get your message across so that the message is understood. The receiver is the person or persons who the sender is relaying the message to. The best way for the receiver to receive the message is to listen intently and make eye contact. To demonstrate you understand the message is to give nonverbal cues, such as smiling and nodding. A message can be delivered in different forms, such as oral or written. The message can be perceived differently by the receiver than what the sender intended it to be.
The message travels from the sender to the receiver is known as the channel. There are many types of channels that the message can be communicated such as the spoken word, something written, the internet, television, radio, and so on. The feedback is the receiver’s response or reaction to the sender’s message. Feedback tells the sender how the receiver interpreted the message. Feedback can be delivered through making comments, asking questions, or supporting the message. The cycle starts over when the receiver becomes the sender to relay a message back to the sender who then becomes the receiver. “Health communication is shaped by many influences including personal goals, skills, cultural orientation, situational factors, and consideration of other people’s feelings” (Du Pre, 2005). With healthcare communication you will need to learn how to communicate effectively with diverse patients.
Diversity, such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, and so on has an impact on how we communicate with others. Healthcare communication is a process to understand and interpret the past, present, and future expectations from the patient and provider. Patient’s main goal is to communicate to their healthcare provider on how to keep or restore their health. Patients and providers rely on working together on their goals to a common plan for their health. Sensitivity is a way for patients to communicate their feelings and expectations to their provider. Some messages have shared meanings which mean messages can be interpreted differently among different types of people. There are ways a provider can encourage a reluctant consumer to communicate candidly.
The provider should smile to make the patient feel comfortable and welcomed. Smiling alone can go a long way to making people feel good. The provider should make eye contact when speaking to the patient. Instead of using medical terms that most patients do not understand, the provider should use language that is on their level and what the patient can understand. The provider can have their office feel warm and welcoming so that patients feel comfortable. If a provider can be on a personal level and open up to the patient, it could encourage them to communicate easier. The provider can make small talk to make the patient feel at ease to feel comfortable to open up.
Cultural differences can effect communication. Language from other cultures can influence the way we communicate since it can cause barriers. Different cultures can affect how people use facial expressions. Eye contact used can be portrayed differently in certain cultures. There are many barriers that can influence communication. Some barriers that effect communication are language, cultural differences, low literacy, and so on. “Five main themes were identified in relation to barriers in accessing healthcare: language; low literacy; lack of understanding; attitudes, gender attitudes, and health beliefs; and retention of information.” (Taylor, Nicolle, & Maguire, 2013).
Cheesebro, T., O’Connor, L., & Rios, F. (2010). Communicating in the workplace . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Du Pre, A. (2005). Communicating about health: Current issues and perspectives (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw Hill Taylor, S. P., Nicolle, C., & Maquire, M. (2013, April). Cross-cultural communication barriers in health care. Nursing Standards, (), 35-43