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Communication for Health Professionals

Introduction to The Therapeutic Relationship in Inpatient Psychiatric Care

Communication skills are very important for any profession. The healthcare professionals have to be effective communicator so that they can provide improved health outcomes to the client. In this essay, a self-assessment of the personal communication style has been discussed. A reflective analysis of personal communication is discussed which is related to the healthcare setting and patient interaction.

Self-Assessment of Communication Style

I have undertaken a self-assessment of my communication style using the self-assessment exercise developed by Casse, (1981). The scores of this exercise are shown in the table and graph below:

Communication style

My score

Style 1- what

8

Style 2-how

13

Style 3-who

12

Style 4-why

7

This exercise has been helpful for me in ascertaining my communication style. Four communication style has been noted and these are What, How, Why and Who. The first style is concerned with the results and objective orientation. Such an individual is more focused on remaining objective oriented. The second style of communication is for the individuals who are more focused on the processes and are concerned with the facts, organization and strategies. The third style refers to the people-oriented individual and they are more interested in relationships, teamwork and communication. The fourth style deals with the people who are focused on the ideas and have interests in conceptualizing, theorizing and innovating.

Positive Aspects

In the assessment, I have learnt that there are many positive and negative aspects of my communication style. The communication style score reveals that I am more interested in organizing, facts and formulating strategies as I have the highest score in the ‘How’ style. This shows that I am good at taking a systematic approach and have a logical approach to any problem. Further, I am more focused on the factual and verbose part of the communication. I believe in analysis and observation and look for empirical proof for decision making. Additionally, I take up procedures in a step-by-step manner and am effective in planning, organizing, controlling and testing.

The second highest score was for style 3 which is related to people. I am focused on the people during work and this allows me to work effectively in diverse healthcare teams. I emphasize on motivation, teamwork, effective communication, team spirit and feelings of others. Further, I can engage in self-development, am self-aware and sensitive to other people’s needs and specifications. I am empathetic in my approach and takes up a subjective approach when dealing with people. I consider the values and beliefs of people which is necessary for developing cultural competencies skills in the healthcare profession.

Strengths

This assessment highlighted my strengths which I can use in the healthcare settings for communicating with patients as well as in diverse healthcare teams. I am good in relationships and in communicating with the clients. Therefore, I can effectively develop a therapeutic relationship with the patients and work to enhance their health outcomes. My communication style would help me in understanding the thoughts, perceptions, beliefs and issues of the patient by following this method of the therapeutic relationship (Moreno-Poyato, et al 2016). I can take up empathetic listening with the patient which is very important for the healthcare practitioner. It allows for meaningful interpersonal connections with the patients. This will help in understanding the specific needs of the patient and therefore required care can be imparted. The empathetic listening has been found to enhance the healthcare outcomes for the patients (Kahriman, et al 2016). The planning and organizing skills as revealed from the assessment can be helpful to me as a healthcare practitioner. This is because these skills can be used for the effective management of patients. Further, I can use these skills for my time management which is very important for the healthcare practitioners (Nayak, 2018).

Negative Aspects of The Dominant Style

From my self-assessment, it has been found that I may be less attentive to others emotions and feelings when focusing on the objectives and results. This may affect my teamwork and one-to-one communication. Further, I may engage in looking for facts and details which might impact my communication with another person and in a team.

Strategies to Control the Negative Aspects

I have to work on my communication skills to eliminate my potential trouble spots. I have planned to read books on effective communication. Further, as I look for facts and details, I would engage in communication with people and try to focus on their non-verbal language. This will help me in understanding their messages properly and communicate effectively. By focusing on the nonverbal cues one can perceive the emotions and feelings of other people. The healthcare practitioners need to have nonverbal communication skills so that they can communicate with the patients and improve healthcare outcomes. This shall be helpful particularly for the elderly people as they have problems which negatively impacts their verbal communication ability (Keutchafo, Kerr, & Jarvis, 2020). I also need to work on my people communication skill so that I can communicate effectively in a cross-cultural setting which is important for the healthcare practitioners as patients can be from diverse cultural backgrounds (Claramita, et al 2020).

Communication Styles Used Most and Least Effectively

I am most effective in using style 2 which deals with organization, processes and facts as depicted in table 1 and figure 1. The least effective style of communication for me is style 4 which deals with the ideas, concepts and theories. I am most effective in an organization and developing processes in a step-by-step manner. However, these often detract me from paying attention to the feelings and ideas of people. Although, I can work effectively in a team when directed with an objective. This strength is helpful for me in communicating with the other healthcare professionals in an objective manner where I can relay the important health information of the patient. Further, I am least effective in the communication style dealing with theories and concepts. This is because these are highly subjective areas which require more imagination. However, as a healthcare practitioner, it is required to have a strong understanding of the ideas, concepts and theories. I need to develop this communication style so that I can impart the health literacy to the patients in an easy manner without giving too much of objective data. The healthcare practitioners have the responsibility to provide health information to the patient which is understandable to them (Rajah, et al 2018).

Everyday Challenges in Communication

As a healthcare practitioner, I can work effectively in a diverse healthcare team with a focus on the facts, organization and planning. However, I face the challenge in imparting the difficult health literacy terms to the patients as I am lacking in style 4. I also face a challenge in creative problem solving as I am lacking in imagining concepts. Therefore, I need to work on this style so that I can explain health information through creative ideas.

Awareness of Personal Communication Style

It is important to have an awareness of the personal communication style when working in a healthcare setting. Communication skills are very crucial for healthcare workers. Effective communication is needed by the healthcare practitioners so that they can help the patient identify their symptoms correctly and report any issues (Capone, 2016). It is also important to have an awareness of self-communication so that it can be adapted according to the situation as well as according to the person. For instance, when breaking the bad news to a patient and the family there can be a distressing situation. However, with effective communication, the healthcare practitioner can deal with the situation and allow the patient to take up steps for improving their health status (Bumb, et al 2017). Effective communication is also needed with diverse patient groups. The healthcare practitioners need to have cross-cultural communication skills and competencies so that they can provide the care in a culturally-safe manner (Filmer, & Herbig, 2020).

Thus, I will have to work on my potential trouble areas so that I can render better healthcare to the patients. This is necessary for me as I have more focus on the facts and details and less on human emotions and feelings. The nurses and healthcare practitioners are required to have effective communication skills so that they can provide improved care to patients from a diverse group. Effective communication is also necessary as healthcare professionals have to work in diverse teams for achieving the best healthcare outcomes for the patients.

Conclusion on The Therapeutic Relationship in Inpatient Psychiatric Care

Therefore, it is concluded that it is important to be aware of the communication style for healthcare practitioners. this allows them to provide better care in different settings with diverse patients and healthcare practitioners groups. Further, one’s awareness with his or her communication style allows for the shortcoming and strengths. With this one can take steps to strengthen the positive aspects of the communication style and work to alleviate the negative aspects of the communication style.

References for The Therapeutic Relationship in Inpatient Psychiatric Care

Bumb, M., Keefe, J., Miller, L., & Overcash, J. (2017). Breaking bad news: An evidence-based review of communication models for oncology nurses. Clinical journal of oncology nursing, 21(5), 573-580.

Capone, V. (2016). Patient communication self-efficacy, self-reported illness symptoms, physician communication style and mental health and illness in hospital outpatients. Journal of health psychology, 21(7), 1271-1282.

Casse, P. (1981). Training for the cross-cultural mind: a handbook for cross-cultural trainers and consultants, 2nd Ed. Washington, D.C : Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research.

Claramita, M., Prabandari, Y. S., Graber, A., & Scherpbier, A. J. (2020). Challenges of Communication Skills Transfer of Medical Students in the Cultural Context of Indonesia. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 14(1).

Filmer, T., & Herbig, B. (2020). A training intervention for home care nurses in cross‐cultural communication: An evaluation study of changes in attitudes, knowledge and behaviour. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 76(1), 147-162.

Kahriman, I., Nural, N., Arslan, U., Topbas, M., Can, G., & Kasim, S. (2016). The effect of empathy training on the empathic skills of nurses. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 18(6).

Keutchafo, E. L. W., Kerr, J., & Jarvis, M. A. (2020). Evidence of nonverbal communication between nurses and older adults: a scoping review. BMC nursing, 19(1), 1-13.

Moreno-Poyato, A. R., Montesó-Curto, P., Delgado-Hito, P., Suárez-Pérez, R., Aceña-Domínguez, R., Carreras-Salvador, R., ... & Roldán-Merino, J. F. (2016). The therapeutic relationship in inpatient psychiatric care: A narrative review of the perspective of nurses and patients. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 30(6), 782-787.

Nayak, S. G. (2018). Time Management in Nursing–Hour of need. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 11(3), 1997-2000.

Rajah, R., Hassali, M. A., & Lim, C. J. (2018). An interprofessional evaluation of health literacy communication practices of physicians, pharmacists, and nurses at public hospitals in Penang, Malaysia. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 52(4), 345-351.

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