Effective Communication in Health Industry
Effective communication is an important tool used by health care
providers to enhance population health quality of health care and
therapeutic outcome. This is because health outcome and client behavior
are highly influenced and shaped by communication that is used to
facilitate the interaction between health care provider and the patient.
Effective communication is paramount importance to both the client and
care provider. It can be defined as the exchange of information that is
understood by all communicating parties (Shanmugan, 2013). In the
presence of a good communication, health care professionals source
reliable information that assists them to understand the client
situation and use the information to make therapeutic decisions.
Clients, on the other hand, rely on an effective communication to
establish a relationship with health care providers, which enhances
health care outcomes. An effective communication is the basic foundation
of the relationship between client and health care provider, which in
turn determines the quality of health care services and treatment
Health care providers are required to maintain a professional
relationship with their clients. From the theory of interpersonal
relations, healthcare should establish a working relationship with their
clients at all levels of experience in order to identify the clients’
felt difficulties and gain their trust (Current Nursing, 2012). The four
phases of client-provider relationships, as defined in the interpersonal
relations theory, the health care providers are able to address the
concerns of their clients to satisfactory levels. The health care
professional uses interpersonal skills at orientation phase to help the
client identify their problems and respond to those problems using
available resources (Current Nursing, 2012). Professionals can use
interview skills at exploitation phase to explore the clients’ problem
and provide an adequate solution. At resolution phase, patient problems
are well handled through collaborative relationship and the relationship
is terminated by both parties satisfied. The effective collaboration
improves health care outcome, which benefits the client while health
care providers enjoy the positive results of their profession.
Supportive and defensive relationship
Supportive relationships in the health care industry are, enhance social
support in the process of preventing diseases and illnesses. These
interventions provide social support by increasing information to the
affected person and provide them with an opportunity to address their
challenges collectively instead of handling them individually. A
defensive relationship, on the other hand, is characterized by one’s
ability to be evaluative, exercising control over others, lack of
openness to different ideas, and indifference (Ekron, 2004). The two
types of relationship apply in different situations, but supportive
relationship is the most appropriate in the health industry. This is
because supportive relationship helps communicating parties avoid
judgmental cues, invite each other to a collaborative association,
consider the contributions made by other parties, and provide
provisional attitude that welcomes the views of other people (Ekron,
2004). A supportive relationship can work best in the interaction
between client and health care provider.
Assertive communication in health industry
Assertiveness, compared to other styles of communication, enhances the
effectiveness of communication between health care provider and client.
The assertive style of communication allows the communicating parties to
establish a win-win situation by respecting the rights and opinion of
one and those of others. The common features of assertive communication
include non-verbal expression, willingness to give an opinion, and
accept feedback from others (Benedict, 2013). It is the most appropriate
style of communication in the health setting because it enhances
interpersonal relationships, self esteem, reduce conflict, provide the
sense of control, help each of the communicating parties to treat each
other with respect, and retrain respect for one (Benedict, 2013)
Interpersonal communication skills
My interpersonal communication skills may not have been perfect in the
past, but I have been trying to improve with time. Based on a self
assessment model (six elements) proposed by Spitzberg & Cupach’s
(2008) the competence of my interpersonal communication skills have been
improving. First, adaptability scores reflect my ability to change goals
and behavior to address the needs of an interaction when communicating.
Secondly, my high cognitive involvement in a conversation is
demonstrated by the use of vocal cues and interaction behaviors such as
head nods. The ability to adjust to change in topic has improved my
conversation management skills. Applying empathy reflects my ability to
understand and share emotional reactions with conversational partners.
My focus on effective conversation helps me ensure that I have achieved
the objective in all conversations. The effectiveness is achieved by
maintaining the expectations of other people in any given situation.
Self assessment for assertiveness
Students can assess their assertiveness by evaluating their
communication either with individuals of groups or people. For example,
in an effort to personal ability to respect the opinion of others, one
can evaluate whether he has the behavior of criticizing the ideas of
others openly. One can also ask himself, do I take time to listen to the
feedback given by other whether it is positive or negative? How do I use
my body language to express receptiveness and openness to others? After
self evaluation, students can improve their assertiveness in three ways.
First, students should realize that non-verbal expressions are
fundamental in assertive communication. They can be improved by
maintaining eye contact, upright posture, and personal space among
others. Secondly, students learn to give or express their opinion and
are willing to listen to the opinions of others. Third, they should be
willing to listen to the feedback given by other people even if they
In conclusion effective communication is the basic foundation of the
relationship between client and health care provider, which in turn
determines the quality of health care services and treatment outcome.
Both the health care providers and their clients have the primary
responsibility of maintaining an effective communication. In addition,
health care professionals should maintain a supportive relationship to
solve the clients’ problems collectively instead of using an
individual approach. Moreover, an assertive communication is suitable in
the health care industry because it enhances the capacity of health care
provider and client to express their receptiveness and openness,
accepting the opinion of others, and their feedback whether it is
positive or negative.
Benedict, C. (2013). Assertiveness and the four styles of communication.
Serenity Therapy. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from HYPERLINK
Current Nursing (2012, January 31). Nursing theories. Current Nursing.
Retrieved November 7 2013, from HYPERLINK
Ekron, L. (2004). Defensive vs. supportive communication: Some critical
differences. Toronto: Information Management System Incorporation.
Shanmugan, V. (2013). Communication and interpersonal relationship in
nursing. San Francisco: Slide Share Incorporation.
Spitzberg & Cupach’s (2008). Interpersonal communication competence:
Self assessment. Retrieved November 8, 2013, from HYPERLINK
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Effective Communication in Health Industry