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The National Health Services commenced its journey in 1948 intending to provide good healthcare to all. The core principle of this service lies in its motto to put patients first. At present time it plays a crucial role in improving the physical and mental well being of mass. The latest report on health studies has shown the result of the past 20 years of research works that are indicative of the positive outcomes of improved communication between healthcare communication professionals and patients. It is proven that effective healthcare communication can be the key element in improving the experience of patients and results.
In addition to the results and effect improvements, effective communication can also deliver financial efficiencies. Sir Simon Stevens in the year 2017 authorised a blueprint to develop the ideas more efficiently around the healthcare communication system. The Clinical Communications Steering Group escalated this work forward to a greater future. The report aims to identify the areas that need improvement to enhance communication between the healthcare system and patients in the NHS. The report also keeps a straightforward approach in shedding light by prioritizing the challenges that need to be addressed and advising potential ways to achieve success.
Intrapersonal communication: Intrapersonal communication occurs within a person. It is generally considered that there are three facets of intrapersonal communication: Self-awareness- It portrays how a person views him/herself and how he/she is acquainted with others (Lum, et al., 2020). Perception- It is about the way of constructing knowledge of himself and the outside which are also entrenched in values and ideas (Haque et al, 2020). Expectations- These are results that are oriented around the future. It is incorporated with long-haul roles. Intrapersonal communication is utilized to interpret ideas or assess any situation and also celebrate something.
Interpersonal communication: Interpersonal communication refers to the interaction between more than two people or in groups. This mode of communication happens all the time in the healthcare sector. This communication mode can include two-way, face-to-face, interactions of verbal and non-verbal mode (Vaagan et al., 2021).
Mass communication: Mass communication is a manner of communicating messages to a vast amount of the population. Print media like magazines, papers, posters and electronic media such as television and the internet are normally used for this. The effective result of mass media is a widespread broadcast of normal facts to a wide range of the population in a short time and lower cost (Nissen and Andersen, 2022).
Language differences: If the language of patients and healthcare professionals is not the same it makes a hurdle. It poses a challenge to figure out the problem and get the patient to understand the treatment process (Mulyana et al., 2021).
Physical barriers to communication in healthcare: while therapeutic communication a favourable environment is vital for efficient consultation. A separate space with a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere is needed for effective communication (Kuroda et al., 2021).
Health status: Health status is a contribution to the fruitful discussion. For instance, a patient in a good health condition will comprehend and react, more than a patient who goes through severe pain.
Gender barriers to communication: Gender impediment also interferes with the communication procedure. Healthcare professionals need to be careful about the different styles of male and female patients.
Communication barriers are one of the most prevailing hindrances in the healthcare system but with a few tried and tested methods they can be overcome quite easily.
At the time a patient is unable to understand the language, a professional translator can always be helpful to make the doctor understand the problem of the patient and patients understand the treatment procedure (Jennings, 2018).
Studies have proven that the visual representation of the treatment process prompts the patients to remember the details very precisely and shows a better outcome.
Medical terminologies are not always the easiest thing to understand. For patients to understand the treatment it is important for medical professionals to use simple and easy understood languages in the treatment process.
Often it is seen that the patients do not feel comfortable in sharing all the information with the medical service providers. But to get the best solution to their problems it is important to maintain transparency otherwise it can lead to complications and situations that sometimes can go out of hand. So the providers need the patients to make them comfortable enough by engaging in a non-tedious dialogue exchange or other activities. It is especially important to patients suffering from any mental illness that refrain them from indulging in socialization and feeling comfortable around other people.
Active listening is the most effective and practical level of listening. It is a distinctive communication skill and also a significant strategy for conducting effective communication. It is important to implement complete attention to the patient’s queries, complaints and problems while displaying interest and not intervening. It builds a sense of trust and mutual respect between the patients and healthcare professionals. It requires showing empathy towards the patients and letting them feel comfortable while the consultation goes on. This skill also contains verbal and non-verbal communication skills, appropriate body language, eye contact, and facial movements, displaying interest and engaging in verbal encouragement (Siddique, 2021).
Empathy is the ability to understand someone else’s position by putting him /herself in the other person’s shoes. The importance of empathy stretches way beyond the medical history, symptoms and signs medical diagnosis and treatment. Empathy encloses a sense of association and a familiarity that incorporates the mind, body and soul. Expressing empathy is admirably efficacious and powerful, which builds the trust of the patient, reduces anxiety and improves results. The study has shown empathy and compassion are entangled with better devotion to medications, reduced cases of malpractice, fewer mistakes, and boosted satisfaction of patients. Showing empathy, one patient at a moment escalates the sense of humanism in healthcare (Häyry, 2021).
It has reached the point of the changes in dynamics in the way doctors and nurses create a connection with their patients. There are fewer chances now for any direct contact with patients, it creep the ability to produce communication with patients, keeping a monitor of their verbal and non-verbal communication and drawing feedback from the interaction with the patients (Baranowska et al., 2021).
By maintaining confidentiality the healthcare professionals can help the patients to attach some social taboos that come along with certain diseases. Patients often feel ashamed and dejected to share diseases with others. So it is important to respect individual patients’ choices and preserve secrecy if needed (Brewer et al, 2021).
Breaching of confidentiality can lead to a hefty amount of fines for the damages caused and can damage the reputation of both healthcare professionals and the organization involved. Sometimes if the severity of confidentiality invasion is higher then sometimes it can result in licensee termination.
Confidentiality breaking is one of the most heinous crimes in healthcare but sometimes legitimate exceptions can be made with NHS specified professional code of conduct: - Revelation with the consent of the patient, Revelation when needed by law and authority, Revelation due to public interest.
Maintaining precise information about a patient, their current, past condition and chronology of their entire treatment process to ensure access to all necessary information handy to conduct consultation or in any case of emergency (Nayak and Patgiri., 2021). Keeping a record can be beneficial when any patient needs to be picked up by someone else. Maintaining a record of care evidence is essential if the actions of the professionals are questioned later.
There is a considerable amount of evidence that demonstrates that having invested in upgraded communication with patients can cast a compelling positive difference to the experience of patients, while also improving both clinical outcomes of patients and cutting down economic demands on the healthcare system. In a nutshell, through orienting new methods to enhance communications with patients, the patients have a better experience of their respective health care and put less pricey demands upon health care service for unnecessary reasons. Some instances suggest that other sectors of clinical practice can also recognize positive developments through advancing clinician communication. In these other areas, there was a lack of research showing the influence of positive patient experience, clinical advantage and expenditure. It is plausible to assume, however, that tests in those other sectors, installed with necessary methodologies of evaluation, can also demonstrate that intervention to progress communication would accomplish all these three benefits. The report advises that considerably much better end of life experiences are hard by the patients due to being given better in-depth knowledge and implementing the choices in the care plans.
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