Accordingto Medical Dictionary, communication define as sending of information from oneplace or individual to one another.
(The Free Dictionary, 2003) Although it is asimple definition, but when we really go into a communication, it is not assimple as imagine. Communication is an important aspect that every professionneed to apply in their work setting especially in healthcare setting. In realmedical practices, not all patients are easy-going, they might come withdepressed, silent, fear and different moods. Thus, as medical practitionersneed a lot of communication skills to calm them down to participate togetherfor effective communication toward same common goal. However, althoughcommunication is important but it just only additional duty to change theenvironment more friendlier and comforting for patient. The main goal to dealwith patient is to help them to completely recover to their normal lifestyle,treating them in ways of physically, psychologically and biologically.
(OSCE Home, n.d)Good communicationskills enable us to easily diagnose medical history, provide accurate treatmentplan and assure patient compliance. Communicationcan be divide into verbal, non-verbal and written communication. (Skills You Need, 2017) Firstly, verbalcommunication includes face-to-face communication, what we speak and howsomething is said such as the tone, pitch, volume, or speed of voice. (Ali.M, 2018) The main purpose ofusing verbal communication is to clarify misunderstanding and provide missinginformation.
Secondly, non-verbal communication includes body language, gesturesor how we dress or act. (Ali.M, 2018) As Peter F.
Duckersaid, ‘The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said’.By understanding non-verbal communication is a powerful tool that helphealthcare professions to analyze and connect with patient in positive ways anddeliver mutual understanding. For examples, we can always smile and maintainproper eye contact but not staring at patient and also to nod head, showinterest and concentrating on what patient is delivering to show our respect tothem. (MedPro Group, 2017) These can servepatient a sense of warmth, empathy, caring and support that leads toimprovement of treatment outcome. A successful communication requires betweenverbal and non-verbal messages. For example, if a patient says ‘Okay’ bynodding his head, this reinforced that he is agreed or understanding what wehave told them. Conversely, when a patient tells that everything is fine, buthis tone, facial expression, body posture and failure to smile are incongruentto the thing he said, we can know that there is something wrong and we are morebelieve to non-verbal that occur unconsciously.
Thus, sometimes non-verbal is moreimportant to observe than verbal communication on a patient to improve thetreatment outcome. Furthermore, an accurate and clear patient’s record must bewritten down to ensure patient’s safety to continue their care and to preventcomplaint from client about the treatment they received. (Royal College of Nursing, 2015) Asa practitioner who work in healthcare, biopsychosocial model must always applyand familiar to their daily works but not the biomedical model to generate aneffective treatment outcome for patient. This is because biopsychosocialemphasize treatment of disease processes, look into biological, psychologicaland social impact to a patient’s functioning while biomedical model of healthand disease dominant the medical practices, (Havelka.
M, et al., 2009) emphasized tobiological determinants and explain diseases. Thus, leaves no rooms fortreating on social, psychological and behavioral of someone. (Engel.G.L, 1977) For examplesprovided by UK Essays,2015, a treatment comparison using biomedical model andbiopsychosocial model in a women’s sprained ankle.
In using a biomedical modelonly focus on disease or impairment. The treatment for sprained ankle in thewomen is independent include rest. Conversely, by applying biopsychosocial model,treatment would be based on the particular individual.
For example, if thepatient is a busy mother, treatment would be adjusted and planned according byunderstanding that rest may be not achievable for her due to her socialfactors. (UK Essays, 2015) Biopsychosocialapproach in health communication interaction could bring a provider to use moreopen-ended and less closed-ended questions to generate more information from apatient. An example given by Michael P.Pagano, practitioner using abiopsychosocial model can start the conversation with a patient by asking open-endedquestions such as ‘tell me how are you doing?’ or ‘what is going on?’. Results allowedpatient to tell more on his health stories and we could find out the problemsand causes. As the practitioners using more active listening and less talks cangather more information related to the patient’s biological, sociological andpsychological condition. After finished asking open-ended questions,practitioners can ask some close-ended questions to get more specific detailsto clear misunderstanding such as their concern, sign and symptoms. (P.
Pagano, 2017)Within these communications between patients not only information sharing but agood relationship, trust and collaboration also can be built up towards a moresuccessful goals. While, the opposite of using biomedical model in healthcommunication interaction. This determining first the patient sign and symptomsto identify problems. Sign consider as objective assessment the anyone can seesuch as fever and rash while symptoms consider as subjective assessment whichonly the patient is aware of them such as pain and dizziness.
This would lead apractitioner to ask questions more towards close-ended question to get only avery directed yes or no from patient. For example, ‘do you have a fever? A rash?’.And ‘Where is your rash? When did it start?’. (P.Pagano, 2017) Thus, uses more timeto access the problem and lacking of focus on other perception that causeinjury such as biologically, social or emotional. Moreover,to ensure effective healthcare on patient treatment, a teamwork andcollaboration between different profession is required.
In healthcare, there isno ‘I’ in every team. Every team member must able to work independently andhave a deep knowledge on their specific job. (QSEN Institutional Affilation, 2015) Communicationbecomes the vital key that bring each member of the team meet together.
According to HRH Global Resource Centre, teamwork in health defined as two ormore people who interact interdependently with a common purpose, workingtowards measurable goals that benefit from leadership that maintain stabilitywhile encouraging honest discussion and problem solving. (HRH Global Resource Center, n.d) The effectivecombination of teamwork and communication skills between different professionact as a foundation to ensure patient safety, increase satisfaction of healthcare towards patient and also reduce workload among healthcare profession. (Oandasan.I & Baker.G.R, 2006) For examplesprovided by QSEN Institute, a nursing assistant must communicate with nurses ifa patient condition worsened. Doctors, therapists, and nurses must communicate,provide and divide particular field of work for the best care to the patient.
(QSEN Institutional Affilation, 2015) When each of teammembers knowing that each person in the team can fulfil their respective dutiesand responsibility, trust developed in a cohesive team. Thus, will built upconfidence and less mistakes make due to the clear conversations and roles of responsibilitybetween each member. (Ray.L, n.d) This will lead to aneffective treatment outcome and increase satisfaction in patient. Besidescommunication between profession-profession, a communication betweendoctor-patient also need to developed to increase the patient treatmentoutcome.
Patient outcome depend on successful communication. Doctors can startan assessment by open-ended communication to obtain more complete informationfrom patient’s verbal communication. This helps increase the accuracy ofdiagnosis and able to provide correct treatment plan for patient.
Advice not tointerrupt patient’s talking, because this may affect the accuracy of diagnosis.After listening, it is also important to summarized and repeat what has beenheard to the patient to ensure information is correct and maintaincommunication. Moreover, doctor should also develop empathy skills toward apatient. Another way to look into empathy is that doctors can try to imaginethemselves in patient’s situation. ‘What will we feel when going through thesame situation?’. For an example provided by Edward Leigh, a patient tells,’There is so much going to do today.
The new project has been overwhelming forme’. During communication, patient using the word ‘overwhelming’. He isexpressing what he felt.
As a doctor, we could state that ‘Sounds like you arevery stress right now.’ We can try to develop empathy and put our self inpatient’s situation giving response back to the person using another suitable synonymwords such as changing the word ‘overwhelming’ to ‘stress’. We can also stateour perception by reflecting back with the feeling word such as ‘sounds likeyou are’, or ‘I believed that must make you feel’ or exchanging our experiencewith patient. (Leigh.E, n.d) With these empathyskills can improve the relationship between patient and doctor and acommunication can be more effective.
Patients also feel less stress andcomfortable hence increase treatment outcome. Asconclusion, a good and effective communication no matter between profession toprofession or doctor to patient is very important for all people in medicinefield of study and cannot be delegated. To activate an effective communicationnot only in verbal form but combinations of non-verbal. An effective clinicalpractice must not only focus only on particular injured area but takeconsideration in all areas that can cause injuries.
With good communicationimproves effective collaboration and helps reduces errors. (O’Daniel.M & Rosenstein.A.
H, 2008) As Paul J. Meyerquoted, communication, the human connection, is the key to personal and careersuccess. (Meyer.P.J, n.d)