Personal and Professional Healthcare Communication

As society evolves, relationship between communities, healthcare organizations and professionals becomes more and more significant as it is the key in the transformation of healthcare (American Academy on Communication in Healthcare 2007).Healthcare Communication is defined as the use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance healthcare (School of Information and Library Science 2001).

  It is a process of promoting health by way of circulating messages through the use of mass media, interpersonal ways, and events (School of Information and Library Science 2001).  Its basic components are: source, channel, receiver, destination, and message.The source is basically the origin of the message; the one who communicates the message.  It could be the healthcare provider, professor, a patient’s relative and the likes. Channel, is the way the message was delivered.  It could be healthcare professional to patient (face to face), television, classroom discussion, health magazines and many other channels of communication.Next is the receiver, who obviously, is the person receiving the message; and in this case it would be the patient.  Destination is the targeted outcome of the message which includes awareness, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, practices and values.

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Lastly, the message which is the information itself could be verbal or visual information (School of Information and Library Science 2001).  For healthcare to be effective and successful both the patient and the professional should work together.One important aspect in any relationship, including this one, is an open and honest communication.  Personal and Professional healthcare communication is as important as the medications itself in addressing health problems or issues.  Normally, when one feels some irregularities in his or her mental or physical condition, one just keeps it to himself hoping that it will just go away after two days.There are also some who, when asked by their doctor, would not say exactly how he or she feels.

  Many of us are scared of telling exactly how we feel or think about our health condition for the simple reason that we don’t want to hear any bad news.To be able to take care of ourselves well and also to be able to make sure that we are helping ourselves get well (if we are sick) we must be able to learn how to communicate.  Communicate in the sense that we are able to face the reality of our condition to the point that we are able to verbalize it to our doctors or health provider.In communicating with our healthcare provider, we should not be doubtful of what we are going to say.  In my understanding, personal healthcare communication includes the reading of health magazines, participating or listening to health discussions or watching programs about healthcare.We have to make ourselves informed about our health so as not to be afraid of it and one way getting rid of fear is to know what it is and understand it.

  This is helping you and your doctor as well.  The importance of personal healthcare communication is that it allows an informed individual to understand his or her health condition more.  Information gives knowledge and knowledge gives understanding, and understanding eradicates fear.This would enable the individual to know and understand what his choices are and with the help of his healthcare provider, with the options that he has, he will be able to choose which is the best for him as far as his healthcare needs go.  Effective communication between the healthcare provider and the individual is an important indicator of the satisfaction of patient, degree of compliance with regards to treatments and medications as well as health outcomes (QA Project 2007).The quality of interpersonal communication between client and healthcare provider would result to the degree of client or patient satisfaction; and that degree of satisfaction influences the attitude and behavior of the client or patient when it comes to complying with treatments and medications.As for the healthcare provider, the quality of interpersonal communication results to his or her satisfaction, competence and confidence as a professional healthcare provider.

  Effective communication gives emphasis to the role and responsibility of healthcare providers in determining health outcomes and also the patients who have to adhere to the recommended treatment, regimen or medication.Effective communication of health issues and concerns by professionals to patients result to giving the proper health advice or treatment.  Trust is what the patient and doctor should be established so as both will be able to achieve the desired outcome, or for the treatment to be successful; and for trust to be established, there has to Health communication contributes to various disease prevention and health promotion and it is important in: 1.  health professional-patient relations.2. individuals’ exposure to, search for, and use of health information, 3. individuals’ adherence to clinical recommendations and regimens, 4. the construction of public health messages and campaigns, 5.

the dissemination of individual and population health risk information, that is, risk communication, 6. images of health in the mass media and the culture at large.7. the education of consumers about how to gain access to the public health and health care systems, and 8. the development of telehealth applications (Northouse and Northouse 1998).

  With the lack of healthcare communication between and amongst patient and healthcare providers personal and public health issues will not be fully addressed.There will be misdiagnosis, mistreatment, and improper use of medications which can result to further complications.  Poor health care is brought about by lack of information, ignorance about proper nutrition, personal hygiene as well as medical attention.  Even if one is not sick, still, it is important to consult or visit the healthcare provider to monitor health especially for old people or those who have recovered from an illness.

There are several theories and principles behind therapeutic communication, one of which is the Talking Cure.  This principle is based on the psychoanalysis that the focal point or the ‘what’ of the physician’s message, carries the what they call ‘meta-message’, this is the way the physician or health provider delivered the message.It can be seen through the facial expression, tone of voice, body language, hand gestures and the likes.  The healthcare provider’s attitude towards the health issue is unconsciously registered in the mind of the patient.  In therapeutic communication “the therapist cloaks his focal message in a meta-message, both of which are presented in such a way as to make it possible to address the disagreeable matters the patient has evaded in ways that the patient is able to hear and deal with” (Mehrtens 2007).Phrasing tones and meaning demonstrates a big difference between statements that brings healing and those that aggravates the problems of the patient.

 The theory, clinical psychodynamics, understands that people’s lives are in a perspective where behavior is seen as a relationship with someone or something (Mehrtens 2007).Clinical psychodynamics theory include: vicious cycles, the centrality of anxiety, and insight, the therapeutic relationship and the world outside.  Vicious cycle approach addresses the feature of our society that creates problems psychologically particularly individualistic isolation which carries “the myth of autonomy and denial of interdependency”, substitution of relational bonds to consumerism and the impact that consumerism brings to the environment, commitment to equality and social justice (Mehrtens 2007).Vicious cycle explains the main role of repetitive cycles of people interaction and to cycles that reciprocate causation (Mehrtens 2007).Centrality of anxiety aims to bring whatever the patient has kept hidden out, to bring light and help him or her overcome the anxiety brought by the necessity of hiding.The third clinical psychodynamic theory, Insight, the therapeutic relationship and the world outside, aims to foster deeper understanding of self, helping the patient to become a more active persona of his or her life, and give encouragement to make the patient to actively participate in the treatment.