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Foundations of
Foundations of Communication
• Communication is the act of
– Information communicated
– A verbal or written message
– A process by which information is
exchanged between individuals though a
common system of symbols, signs, or
Why Communicate?
• Establish and maintain relationships
• To persuade and change attitudes or
• Develop an understanding of other
• Problem solve
Elements of Communication Process
• Source – creator of message
• Message – verbal or nonverbal stimuli
• Interference – anything that changes
the meaning of an intended message
Elements of Communication Process
• Channel –route by which messages flow
between source and receiver
• Receiver (decoder) – individual who
analyzes and interprets the message
• Feedback – verbal or nonverbal
response the receiver sends to source
of message
Levels of Communication
• Intrapersonal Communication
– a. Occurs within an individual
– b. Also known as self-talk, inner thought
– c. Try to replace negative thinking with positive
• Interpersonal Communication
– a. One to one communication between you and
another person
– b. Used most often in a health care situation
Levels of Communication
• Small Group Communication
– a. Interaction when a small number of people
meet together
– b. Communication is goal directed and requires an
understanding of group dynamics
• Public Communication
– a. Interaction with an audience
– b. Requires special adaptation in eye contact,
gestures, voice inflection and use of presentation
Types of Communication
• Verbal Communication
– Can be spoken or written
– Depends on language: a prescribed way of
using words so that people share
information effectively
– Reveals person’s intellectual development,
educational level, and geographic and
ethnic origin
– Helps health care worker assess what the
patient knows and feels
Types of Communication
Non-Verbal Communication
– What is not said
– Often termed body language
– Helps to understand subtle meanings in
what is said verbally
– Non verbal messages express more of the
true meaning than verbal messages
Communication in Health Care
• Health Care Workers
– Communicate with one another
• To coordinate effective patient care
• share information about what has been done for the
• decide what needs to be done
• evaluate the patients response to treatment
– Communicate with patient
• allows patient’s human needs to be met
• assists in establishing a trusting, caring relationship
• allows health care worker and patient to work together
on a common goal
Barriers to Effective Communication
• Defense mechanisms
– Compensation for another goal to achieve
– Denial
– Displacement of anger
– Projection
– Rationalization
Barriers Health Care
– Heavily medicated clients
– Clients with hearing or visual impairments
– Slang and words with double meanings
– Clients with limited English
– Medical Terminology
– Mental or physiological condition
Effective Communication
• Verbal messages must be clear,
complete, concise, courteous, and
• Nonverbal communication (body
language) may change the message
Effective Listening
• Involves both hearing and interpreting
• Requires focusing on body language
and the message being sent
• May be passive or active
– Active listening is very important in the
medical profession to gather information
( for example, when interviewing a patient
for their medical history.
Conveying a Positive Attitude
• Health care professionals must be
aware of their own bias and attitudes
when sending and receiving both verbal
and nonverbal messages to avoid
interfering with quality client care
Positive Attitude
• Receiver must have trust in the sender
before they accept a message
• If a patient feels a health care
professional does not know what they
are talking about, they may not accept
the information or treatment
Positive Attitude
• Be willing to say “I don’t know, but
I will find that information for you”
when asked a question for which
you do not have knowledge.