It is paramount to have interpersonal communication in health and health care. The information that the healthcare provider gives and that one that the health consumer gives can lead to the promotion of high-quality health care. The health consumer must be ready to share his or her health condition while the health provider must be willing to listen and analyze the information before making conclusions.
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An efficient health institution must have working telephones and addresses. They are the means through which the health consumers can reach the health facilities for information about appointments and other health information. The hospitals should be well equipped with the needed medical equipment, medicine, and with the right number of qualified personnel.
The case of Anna is shocking indeed. Her husband, Paul, tried frantically to reach the hospital via the hospital’s telephone number. An emergency number for such institutions as the health system must be working 24 hours and have someone ready to pick up the calls. It seems the hospital’s communication channel had failed. He would have gotten through, maybe; he could have booked an appointment with the doctor and even known where exactly he would take his wife for treatment. It is surprising that even the Accident and Emergency unit is very slow to deal with patients that they had to wait for many hours at the reception.
The receptionist seemed not to care at all about how worse Anna was getting. The doctor, who eventually saw her, had already formed an opinion of her before even the consultation process had started. The hard mentality view caused him not even to listen to what Paul was trying to explain to him. Unsatisfied with the entire system, Paul had to rush his wife to their general practitioner who directed them to another hospital. Later she was diagnosed with a stroke.
During the consultation process, the doctor should try to listen as much as possible to the health care consumer because he/she has visited the doctor with concern. The doctor should also involve a nurse to help establish the case together. The doctor should find out the medical history of his/her client to ascertain whether the condition is repetitive, related or new. It is also proper that the doctor carry out tests if necessary, to confirm the reality of the matter.
The health providers are not supposed to be insensitive to the health consumers’ feelings and concerns. When someone needs a doctor or a nurse, it is because one has certain expectations from the medical practitioners. If these expectations fail then, it becomes dissatisfaction and discouragement.
The management needs to plan and develop communication strategies to help improve the interpersonal health communication. It is important because effective communication in the health sector leads to efficiency. Competency is another view that is important in this industry. Ignorance of crucial facts can result in the breakdown of information, and after that, inadequate service delivery.
The health institutions should cooperate with the health consumers in the sharing of knowledge and technology. Even if there can be any breakdown of information, the hospital should have notices on the walls indicating and giving directions to the health consumers. Cooperation helps to bring the health information closer to the relevant people. It leads to rational decision-making. A health institution should be a place where the health consumers and their loved ones get solace and not rebuke and insults. Interpersonal Health Communication can bring this desired love.