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  • Subject Name : Effective Communication Skills

Case Study: Benjamin Hurley


Effective communication is the way of enriching the health of the patient by sharing clinical information. In the healthcare organizations and hospitals, the communication plays a key role in ensuring that patient is provided with proper medical care. Clinical staff including nursing professionals, physicians, and specialists treat the patients with the use of effective communication. Good communication leads to realizing the importance of the protection of patients, increasing day-to-day operational efficiency, cost-saving, and protection of the patient.

Here in this case study, Benjamin Hurley’s medical condition is discussed. He is a male patient and a child of an Aboriginal mother. He uses to work on a full-time basis in his organization. The patient went to a general practitioner but his condition did not improve as he was suffering from mental illness. He was referred to a counselor so that he could be given psychological and emotional support. Here, in this essay, the role of effective communication will be discussed to treat the patient.

Benjamin Hurley was suffering from mental illness and the general practitioner referred him to a counselor because now the issues that he presented were mental illness, lack of family support, lack of social support, unhealthy home environment, and consumption of alcohol and drugs. No doubt he was enjoying his job but, was facing trouble while concentrating on the job. He never went before for any diagnosis regarding mental issues and find out the ways himself for treatment based on symptoms. The counselor is the healthcare professional that provides care to the patient in terms of psychological terms and identifying the risks associated with his illness.

The counselor here follows face-to-face communication so that she could understand the body language and facial expressions of the patient. This method is used to understand the real meaning of the patient behind words. Good communication skills are followed by healthcare professionals in the form of active listening in responding appropriately to the concerns and needs of the patient. The communication helps to prevent death and injuries and increase trust between caregiver and patient in strengthening relationships with other staff members (Brown, 2015).

World Health Organization stated that mental illness is the state in which the individual is not able to recognize his potential. The contribution of such a person in society is less in handling stress and coping with the daily activities of life. To perform the functions effectively, the body and mind functioning should be parallel. The counselor provides many types of counseling such as psychoanalysis, group therapy, cognitive therapy, and behavior therapy. Cognitive therapy is based on the analysis of feelings and actions and often the way of thinking.

Behavior therapy includes modifications of unhealthy to healthy behavior. It is enforced with healthy behavior and habits through the use of rewards. Group therapy leads to group sessions in maintaining a confidential environment for sharing feelings with the support of members. Psychoanalysis is the way an individual is allowed to recall his/ her past and give the reasons behind the way of thinking, acting, and acting. The counselor hence follows these methods to treat patients with behavior and thinking therapies.

The rapport is built with allowing mutual transmission of information between the patient and counselor. The counselor processes and assimilates the information to provide the highest possible care without any misinterpretation and translation. Rapport building is very important in reflecting the feelings of the patient. Both the parties in this matter honestly share, supervise the ideas that are presented by the patient. Rapport building follows the tips to effectively be prepared, listen without judgment, using disclosure without action, getting aware of limitations in experience and knowledge, and use of empathy.

The morals and values of the patient are respected and no interference is done in the counseling process. The provision of care is provided along with maintaining professional boundaries to maintain the stuff. Active listening is the sense of creating trust and development of empathy. This is a very powerful tool that builds a meaningful connection with the client and understanding what the patient feels. Interpersonal skills are used to develop the counseling therapy process.

Mental illness and substance use by Benjamin Hurley has a significant relation with uplifting societal costs. The communication strategies are used to provide the patients with counseling and evaluation of ongoing behavior. The strategies are developed to address the needs of the patient while providing care. The patient and family members demand communication to appropriately deal with patient care management (Williams, Ilten, & Bower, 2016). Benjamin Hurley was an Aboriginal child but, the communication strategies states that the language and socio-cultural skills should be supported by maintaining the confidentiality and effectively demonstrating the tasks.

The assertive communication strategy should be followed so that he could be advocated for one's clients and one's self. This mechanism involves interactions with high confidentiality and an effective manner. It is the work of an interdisciplinary team to get involved in counseling the patient and making attitudinal changes in him. Respect to culture is the other strategy that should be followed and it is a must so that the patient can freely seek advice, express opinions, and make requests and suggestions (Meuter, Gallois, Segalowitz, Ryder & Hocking, 2015).

Mental health disorders are of major concern and require the usage of advanced therapies, psychotropic drugs, and pharmaceuticals in treating a patient. Many barriers are associated with the counseling of mentally ill patients. These can be health system provision, social factors patient behavior, and cultural factors. To cater to these interventions are made to enhance the condition of patients by enforcing education and communication. The stigma is associated with the mental health disorders in which the patient feels discomfort in expressing their health issues. The other two that majorly impacts Aborigibal's health are language and cultural barriers. These factors are however undermined in the healthcare system even though every individual has the right to access the medical services from anywhere according to their need. The physicians, nurses, and non-clinical staff collaboratively are responsible for such type of behavior (Gluyas, 2015).

Ethical considerations are of most importance in dealing with the patient. The Mental Healthcare Act 2017, states the rights of patients with mental illness. The governments and professionals are said to follow all the guidelines so that fundamental rights are protected starting from evaluation to treatment. The rights relate here to justice, known-maleficence, informed consent, boundary violations, and confidentiality. The set of moral values is confirmed in dealing with the way the patient is not harmed. The informed consent was known to the patient and this is the document that is shared with the patient and guardian to approve that the complications, side-effects, and positive outcomes are known to the patient in the provision of care. While sharing the disease condition with the other professionals, confidentiality, and privacy of information is maintained (Davenport, Allisey, Page, LaMontagne & Reavley, 2016).

The multidisciplinary approach is followed for giving counseling to the patient. It follows support and treatment for promoting the care and productivity of an individual. The three healthcare professionals that are involved in care provision are General practitioners, psychologists,and psychologists. The information will be shared with the general practitioner so that services could be given by conducting cognitive and physical assessments. The general practitioner assists in addressing preventive health needs. The general practitioner is the one who acts as a gatekeeper in specialized care and treatment.

They are the centers in managing the total picture of health. The psychiatrist is the medical professionals that are specialized in treating mental illness and mental health. The prescription and diagnosis based on the patient's medical condition are done by him along with the provision of therapeutic counseling. The treatment care plans are provided by him so that the medical condition of the patient is improved. A psychologist is the one who knows developmental processes. The assessment, needs, problems, disorders, and test interpretation are done by him with the therapeutic and behavioral approach.

Thoughts and emotions are managed with the help of skills and therapies. As shared above, the ethical considerations will involve rights related to justice, known-maleficence, informed consent, boundary violations, and confidentiality. Confidentiality is a major challenge in sharing patient information. The viewpoints of every professional vary and the way of dealing are also. The challenges that could arise are language, superiority, different types of care give, active listening, and interpretation of ideas (Williams, Kemper & Hummert, 2016).


From the essay above, we have learned that effective communication plays an effective role in addressing patient problems. The multidisciplinary approach is followed in which the nursing professionals, specialists, doctors, and caregivers are involved in treating a patient. Strong communication policies should be followed to enrich the health of the patient and recognizing the need for effective communication in healthcare. The patient should be provided the care with a high level of dignity and respect. The guidelines and procedures must be followed so that the privacy and confidentiality of a person are not harmed.


Brown, A. M. (2015). Simulation in undergraduate mental health nursing education: A literature review. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 11(10), 445-449.

Davenport, L. J., Allisey, A. F., Page, K. M., LaMontagne, A. D., & Reavley, N. J. (2016). How can organizations help employees thrive? The development of guidelines for promoting positive mental health at work. International Journal of Workplace Health Management.

Gluyas, H. (2015). Effective communication and teamwork promote patient safety. Nursing Standard (2014+), 29(49), 50.

Meuter, R. F., Gallois, C., Segalowitz, N. S., Ryder, A. G., & Hocking, J. (2015). Overcoming language barriers in healthcare: a protocol for investigating safe and effective communication when patients or clinicians use a second language. BMC health services research, 15(1), 371.

Price, O., Baker, J., Bee, P., & Lovell, K. (2015). Learning and performance outcomes of mental health staff training in de-escalation techniques for the management of violence and aggression. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 206(6), 447-455.

Williams, K. N., Ilten, T. B., & Bower, H. (2016). Meeting communication needs: topics of talk in the nursing home. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services, 43(7), 38-45.

Williams, K., Kemper, S., & Hummert, M. L. (2016). Enhancing communication with older adults: overcoming elderspeak. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services, 43(5), 12-16

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