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The Communication Process in Healthcare

Case Study:

A physician wrote in the patient record an order for medication for one of his patients. In that order, he directs the medication to be taken as one pill three times a day, approximately 4-6 hours apart and with a meal. He tells the nurse to give the patient some samples because they have a large number of them and the patient is on a fixed income. He then asked the nurse to give the patient directions on how to take the medication. The nurse calls the patient from the waiting room into her office and gives the patient the samples. As the nurse is escorting the patient out of her office, she then directs a patient to "take one of these pills with every meal."
The parts of the communications process.

- What parts of the communication process are missing, if any? For this question, you will not only list any parts that were missing (if any), but also explain how they should have been used.
- Could the patient have misinterpreted the message? If so, how? What could have happened if the message did not get across as it was intended?
- Are there things that the nurse could have done better and, if so, what?
- Is there a way(s) to make sure a message is received and understood in the communication process?
- If you were the nurse in this case what would you have done?

Solution Preview

Perhaps the biggest part of the communication process that was missing was confirmation. When we communicate, we assume that what is clear to us is probably also clear to the receiving party. The truth is, that isn't always the case. For one reason or another, the received message may be different from that of the sent one. Be that because one is hard of hearing, or one was speaking too fast, or perhaps simply because one was distracted by something else.

Therefore, the ...

Solution Summary

The communication process in healthcare is discussed.