Communication is defined as “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through common systems.”(Merriam-Webster, 2015) In our society common systems may mean verbal or non-verbal alike. With that being said, since communication is a process by which information is exchanged, as future clinicians, wouldn’t you want to make sure that happens efficiently? Imagine you have a thirty-two year old male who comes to you with complaints of various symptoms and due to a lack of communication (usually on both ends) you end up misdiagnosing, prescribing the wrong medication and the existent maladies go untreated. Additionally, what if there is a cultural difference between yourself and said patient? Due to your lack of commonalities there is a confound in your com...
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...again, to raise cultural awareness. One method commonly employed by physicians when treating across cultures is the “teach back” method which ask for patient participation and assures the patient properly understand the information being relayed to them.
There are many models of communication that demonstrate how to transfer information. In a healthcare setting, there are tools that will allow for you to make this communication transaction smoother regardless of age, gender or culture.(Diedrick, schaffer & Sandau, 2011) As the physician, it is imperative that you learn to be
• effective speakers (speed, reduced jargon, enunciation and ),
• effective listeners (active listening, engaging, eye contact, staying present in conversation)
• Offer feedback (emphasize points made and focus on important points)
• Soliciting help if needed
• Aware to non-verbal indications
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