Essay: Communication

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  • Published on: January 23, 2019
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  • Communication
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Communication has a universal way of conveyance. Standards and methods or tools of
communication may vary from one place to another. However, the universal process of

communication remains intact. There need to be participants who send or receive the

message. The medium of communication must also come into play. The barriers to effective

communication in any given set up interfere with the medium of communication. This may

be in form of noise, poor network coverage or misunderstanding of the language. As such, the

encoding and decoding processes in communication play an essential role. They determine

what the feedback will be. The sender of a message can only determine whether message

conveyance is successful if the conveyed feedback meets his or her expectation. A fault in

any of the processes of communication can render the entire process a waste of time and

resources. In a medical institution, the first check that nurses conduct is conversing with

patients. This sets the stage for all the other checks that follow and the diagnosis of the

patient. Through communication, the nurse can be able to set a conducive environment for

other sessions such as counselling. In scenarios where the patient has to be handed over to a

doctor, the medical attendant in charge of the ill person needs to pass all the relevant

information to the physician. In most cases, the information can either be verbal, nonverbal or

written. This paper seeks to investigate the barriers to effective communication in a medical


Addressing barriers to effective communication 3

Barriers to effective communication

The essence of communication is to enable the first person to pass a message to the second

person and obtain an answer that meets the set expectation. This cannot be achieved if the

communication process is hampered by any barriers. In some cases, the barriers may not

necessarily interfere with the feedback. The setbacks may actually cause delays. Such

suspensions in communication may spill over to affecting other working schedules.

The first hurdle to communication in a health institution is the establishment of a connection

between the nurse and the patient. In this scenario, both the victim and the caregiver are

totally unfamiliar with the expectations of each other. This happens especially if the sick

person is new to the attendant. The internal climate that governs communication defines this

challenge (Marquis & Huston, 2017).

Some sufferers will tend to be reserved and this will hinder the nurse from obtaining the

accurate information about their illness. Other sick persons may have a denial attitude due to

the fact that they are suffering from an infection that may be shameful to mention. The stress

the patient is going, the values possessed by the patient, and the feelings the patient has are

among the internal communication environment factors that determine the effectiveness of

interaction (Marquis & Huston, 2017). Internal factors also influence the communication

between employees. Most nurses have a tendency to respond negatively to the physician in

charge especially if the doctor has a negative attitude.

There are several external climatic factors which also play a major role in the determination

of the success of a talk between the caregiver and the sick person. In a noisy environment,

passing messages via verbal means may prove to be difficult. The timing of the message may

also determine how the message will be perceived. wrong timing is one of the exterior

Addressing barriers to effective communication 4

conditions which adversely affect the delivery and perception of messages (Marquis &

Huston, 2017).

In some instance, caregivers may have to use symbols or cue that are non-verbal in nature to

pass messages. One great hindrance to the use of this form of information transmission is the

misunderstanding of the signs. In addition, the transmitter may also decide to use the wrong

sign for the right message. This automatically misguides the receptor. Reading forms of

message conveyance which are not verbal in nature assists the medical attendant to perceive

the feelings of the patient (Marquis & Huston, 2017).

In dealing with ailing persons who cannot speak, the carers need to be fluent with the

symbols used. This is normally a special case where the transmission of information from the

nurse to the patient may be very challenging. Other than listening to the nurses’ response, the

physicians should study the alternative cues of transferring information other than the verbal

means (Johansson, et al., 2014). This may assist in noting whether the medical assistants have

perceived the message positively.

Addressing ineffective communication

In order to address the problem of getting the patient on board in the first instance of

communication, the medical attendant has to understand and apply the G and four Rs’

principle. This model recommends the commencing of communication between a nurse and a

victim or fellow employee by greetings. This helps in breaking the ice. The nurse also ought

to listen to the patient with respect, review the conversation and request for additional

information if necessary. The medical personnel should then close the conversation by

rewarding or thanking the receiver for listening and participating (Marquis & Huston, 2017).

Addressing barriers to effective communication 5

Dealing with the external environment requires the health employee to gain the skills and art

of pulling the patient out of the reserved area. This may take time but it is necessary for

dealing with some serious medical conditions that have pushed the patient into trauma. One

such case is dealing with rape victims or people with sexually transmitted infections. The

attendant will need to apply special psychological skills in order to overcome this challenge.

This requires training. Experience through work and exposure to several cases of this nature

can also make a nurse an effective communicator.

The nurse has to understand how to deal with external conditions too. For instance, the timing

of presenting the diagnosis results to a victim must be handled with care. In situations where

the sufferer is unstable, the medical employee may need to calm the patient down before

presenting the outcome.

In noisy environments, it would be more appropriate to select a means of information

conveyance that cannot be interrupted by the noise. Such would include writing a message to

the receiver through a text message, an email or a note. Notes must be written in clear

handwriting. For proper application of cues which are not verbal in nature, a standardised

mechanism of communication with signs should be adopted by all employees through

training (Gifu, et al., 2014).


There are several challenges to effective communication in a nursing environment. The

transmission of the messages can take different forms. Despite the form of information

conveyance adopted, challenges that bar the passing of the message are inevitable. Some of

these challenges include toughness in starting the first interaction between the nurse and the

patient and improper use of signs. These problems also have solutions which can be applied

to eradicate the burden of ineffective communication in health centres. Training employees

Addressing barriers to effective communication 6

on how to boost communication and setting a good environment are among the methods that

can be applied to boost interactions.

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