Five Fundamentals of Patient Communication

Communication is a very important element in the day-to-day life. In communication, the sender and the one receiving the message must be able to clearly understand each other in order for the whole process to be a success. Communication between a medical practitioner and the patient is one of the many types of communication that needs to be very effective. Ineffective communication between the doctor and the patient can bear dreadful results, especially to the patient. Among such results can be an inaccurate diagnosis or even wrong prescriptions to the patient (Hart, 2010).

There are five fundamentals of doctor-patient communication that should be applied in the medical surrounding. To begin with, the doctor should listen to the patient without any interruption (Belzer, 1999). Secondly, the doctor should use engagement in his communication. This means that he/she should show interest in the problem of the patient (Mock, 2001). The doctor should then use simple terms when addressing the patient to ensure that there is an understanding between the doctor and the patient (Lovejoy, 2008). The doctor should communicate with a purpose in order to know what the patient is suffering from and how he/she could help the patient. Lastly, the doctor should empower their patients so that the doctor entrusts the patient with the information they cannot share with anyone else (Belzer, 1999)

Survey Question

In doctor-patient communication, the emphasis is on the information that the patient provides the doctor with. Different patients have different communication styles. The question of this survey, therefore, is: does the communication style of the patient affect the communication of the doctor?

Sample Data Representation

The data that is going to be collected will be represented in tables since the results will be limited and will represent the survey on the effectiveness of communication between the patient and the doctor.

Data Collection – Target Audience

The target audience is the doctors who give information regarding how they are affected with the communication style of the patient. The data targets 25 doctors who are observed while communicating with patients of both high participation and patients that participate minimally in patient-doctor communication. It is noted that on average, doctors interview fewer high-participating patients than the low-participating patients. High participation on the side of patients means that the patient asks questions and provides information about his/her health without being questioned.

Information Gathered from the Survey

The survey concludes that patients that have high participation levels invoke the doctor to use a patient-centred mode of communication. When dealing with patients with a low participation level, the doctor is much involved in the communication by asking numerous questions. The survey also found out that doctors are always only interested in discovering the ailments the patient suffers from rather than in discovering the character of the patient. Doctors only care about the health of the person and they are less interested in understanding how the patient feels as a whole (Cegala & Post, 2009). The conclusion that is drawn from this survey is that the doctor should encourage the patient to speak out so that he/she is able to discover what the patient needs. If the patient does not participate actively in this communication, there are some details that may be left out and the doctor may not be aware of them. The survey also concluded that the doctor should be interested in the patient as a whole and not just in his or her well being. In this way, the patient trusts the doctor more and may open up to the doctor on what they really feel about their health. 

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