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The basic process of effective communication

Communication is a crucial tool in the health care field mostly for ensuring cooperation among the medical professionals delivering the services and the patients. It is a vital component in establishing a relationship between the professionals and the patient or a working relationship among the individuals delivering the health care services. The basic process of effective communication is attention. Attention to the current problem or situation is important in ensuring the communication is effective. This will enable the other elements of effective communication to be of use, for example it enable listening of the parties involved to take place. It also enables individuals to take responsibilities and also helps the parties to compromise. Attention to what the other person is saying also gives chance for each of them to present point of view.

Advantages and disadvantages of effective communication in the medical environment

Effective communication is important in the medical environment in that it ensures effectiveness of the activities carried out. Examples of the activities in health care where communication is vital include remainders for treatment which require regular visits to the medical professional, referrals, and prenatal cares (Mikanowicz & Shank, 2000).  The medical field deals with the human life and thus care needs to be taken on any thing done on the human health. With effective communication, it is possible to avoid any malpractices or mistakes when handling a patient.

Effective communication in the medical environment is also important because it ensures that the needs of every person who requires the services are met. People are different, there are those who have certain disabilities such as the deaf, there is need to meet their demands thus with effective communication, it is possible to serve them in spite of their disabilities (Mikanowicz & Shank, 2000).

Effective communication is also of importance in delivering messages to a diverse population. Since messages are easily misinterpreted, it is important to ensure that the message being passed on is interpreted properly.

There are barriers to effective communication in the medical environment, these include language barrier (Burgoon, et al, 2001) whereby the client and the medical professional do not have a common language and this presents the health care provider with difficulty of providing services. Time is another barrier to good communication (Burgoon, et al, 2001). In most cases the patient is given limited time to in the medical office and this may result to failure to give the patients enough information about their care. The attitude of the health care provider is also a barrier to good communication (Burgoon, et al, 2001). Some providers may only be concerned with finish the job without taking consideration of humanity; this may result to failure to understand the clients' situation.

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How nonverbal communication plays a role in the communication process

Nonverbal communication is important in diagnosis of certain medical conditions especially psychiatric one. Nonverbal communication such as facial expressions, standing postures, eye contacts can play a role in communication between a medical professional and the client For example; a therapist may look at the behavior of a patient such as facial expression, and posture in diagnosing mental disorders.

A scenario in which effective communication was utilized and achieved

A patient was diagnosed with diabetes; he was therefore put under a daily medication. The doctor thus prescribed the medicine that this patient was supposed for the first month. The patient had a low income and he was worried when the list was given to him to go buy the medicines. This doctor was approachable and the patient was in a position to explain his financial status. He explained to the doctor that he could not afford to buy all the medicines.

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The doctor understood him and advised him that there is an urgent need to take the medicine and as such he directed him that he does not need to buy the drugs at once buy he could be buying in small amounts ensuring that he not miss any dose. This kind of communication was very important both to the doctor and the patient. Had the doctor failed to listen to the patient the patient would not have bought in small amounts and this would have cost the patient his health.

A scenario in which effective communication was not utilized or achieved

A certain out-patient was given a prescription by the doctor to get some of his medicines from a pharmacy. The doctor had an illegible writing and when the pharmacist looked at the prescription, he had difficulties in understanding which medicines were in it. Instead of consulting for clarity he decided to prescribe what he assumed the doctor could have written and in the process. His assumption was wrong and the patient was given the wrong medicines. This obviously posed the patients life to danger and his situation worsened and he also got diagnosed with poisoning. When it was realized that he had taken wrong drugs, this became a court case where by it was to be ruled out who was wrong between the doctor and the pharmacist.

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Examples of ineffective communication that could result in bad customer service in a medical office

Strategies for overcoming perceived service issues

Perception is as a result of an individual having a selected way of interpretation the world around him. People have different perceptions of things depending on their culture, needs, values or beliefs (Mikanowicz & Shank, 2000).  . Perception is thus a process that is internal and very personal. People usually perceive things depending on their past experience or the personal judgment they have on the issue. This personal judgment may be based on their educational background, social influences for example age and gender, or community (Mikanowicz & Shank, 2000).

In the health care setting, patients create perception of the services issued from the information they have gathered from other people or from their first experience when services are offered to them.  It is therefore important for the service providers in the health care to come up with a strategy that is going to make the clients to have a good perception about the services that are offered. The best strategy to use is to consider the means of communication used. Communication, whether verbal or non-verbal, creates a certain perception by the clients. For example, attention to clients' complains gives the clients a perception of how he health care center value them. On the other hand, failure to give attention to the clients makes them to have a perception of negligence by the staff members of the health care.

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