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Hcs/320 Communciation Theory

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HCS 320

COMMUNICATION THEORY PAPER

Axia College of University of Phoenix

Instructor:………….

Date:………….

[Page Break]Communication Theory Paper

When working in an organization such as that of Hospice, effective communication is one of the key aspects concerning the care of the patients involved. As in any health care setting, an organization designated to hospice care may face challenges when it comes to communication because of gender differences, cultural differences, and in some cases the inability to communicate effectively with the individuals obtaining service. Circumstances such as these may affect how certain tasks are completed within the organization, whether or not an individual wants to continue using hospice services, and how well employees, patients, and family members interact together. Therefore, to understand some of the challenges facing this type of organization in accordance to communication we will discuss how gender and cultural differences influence communication within the organization Legacy Hospice when it comes to coworkers, managers, patients, families, and caregivers, and improvements that can be made if any.

Gender Differences

Females

When working in an organization dedicated to hospice care one is most likely to encounter both male and female employees who are dedicated to the care and health of the patients involved however, they are also going to encounter different approaches when it comes to styles of communicating. In reference to the organization known as Legacy Hospice it is shown that female employees unlike that of male employees tend to have better communication skills when it comes to interacting with the patients, families, managers, and other employees. This occurs because females unlike that of males tend to be more nonverbally expressive, talk more, engage in partnership-building behaviors, and reveal more personal information than that of men (Axia, 2007). In this specific organization female coworkers tend to be more open when it comes to taking care of the opposite sex, relate more with emotional situations, spend more time taking care of needs other than the basic needs needed by the patient such as providing emotional support for the family or patient, have more patience, and ask more questions. For example, because females in general tend to be more knowledgeable about health care issues it is easier for females versus that of males to ask health-related questions to the patient or family, which in turn builds a better relationship between the patient and his or her caregiver and also supports good communication.

Males

Males as stated above in this organization do not communicate as effectively with patients, family members, and other employees because they are not as open to sharing certain aspects of their lives, do not tend to express themselves emotionally, and in some cases do not care to initiate the beginning of a conversation. In addition, unlike that of female employees, males at times and the patient, he or herself may also have issues when it comes to taking care of or being taken care of by the opposite sex. For example, when working with that of a male employee female patients may not fully feel comfortable expressing certain details about one’s condition to a male, which can cause a gap in communication to occur. On the other hand, a male employee may also feel uncomfortable working with patients of the opposite sex because of moral reasons or just feeling uncomfortable with the aspect of taking care of a female patient, which in turn can cause a communication barrier between the employee, the patient, and his or her family. However, although males within this organization at times have a harder time communicating there are instances such as when talking to another coworker or manager that a male employee contributes greatly when it comes to communicating with the other because a conversation has been initiated or important information needs to be shared. Although gender can play a huge role on how one communicates with others in a hospice organization, cultural differences also can be an issue for all those involved.

Cultural Differences

When working in a health care setting such as Legacy Hospice, cultural differences will arise affecting how patients, employees, families, and managers communicate with each other. For example, some of these issues may include speaking a different language, speaking with broken English, speaking with an accent that makes it hard for one to understand fully what is said, or different religious beliefs (Axia, 2007). Because cultural differences can influence how communication is established and at times can also lead to issues of miscommunication between a patient and his or her care providers (Flower, 1992). The hospice organization discussed currently has a number of different employees who share different cultural backgrounds within the organization and also provides a hotline for employees to call as needed in accordance to language barriers.

Communication within an organization such as this one is a very important factor for billing purposes, treatment, and trust therefore, when cultural differences arise it can be very hard to know how exactly to treat an individual’s condition, or build a connection with a patient, making it important for all those involved to know a little about each cultural involved. For example, individuals from a different cultural may not believe in altering the process of death with the use of methods such as pain medications, antibiotics, or rehydration techniques. Therefore, when caring for a patient who is reaching his or her last days with these beliefs it is important to have knowledge concerning how the patient feels as not to offend the patient or the family and as a way to provide the best treatment possible. Although communication is, an on-going problem in most health care facilities in accordance to this specific organization communication is encouraged and improvements are not needed at this time.

Improvements

Currently within this organization, improvements are not necessary. Within this organization, communication is initiated by providing patients with care providers, social workers, nurses, and managers who have similar beliefs and understandings if possible, matching up patients and care providers based on their preference to gender and personality, and providing employees with a way to seek alternate languages if necessary. Managers and employees meet twice or more a month to do trainings and establish open communication and certified nursing assistants are encouraged to contact case managers or supervisors with any concerns that the patient or the employee may be feeling. Although communication may not be perfect all the time and some improvements may need to be made in the future, for now the staff and management work together in harmony as a way of providing the best possible care to the patients involved.

Conclusion

When working for a hospice organization more is needed than just to take care of an individual’s basic needs. One must also know how to make the individual feel comfortable, assure him or her that what he or she are going through is a part of life’s normal process, and support the patient and his or her family through the use of effective communication. Although communication barriers such as gender issues, language, and cultural beliefs do occur all necessary steps are taken and adhered to as a way to provide the patient with adequate treatment. When taking care of individuals who are facing the end of one’s life it is important to make them feel as secure and comfortable as possible. Therefore, managers, nurses, social workers, and other coworkers working at Legacy Hospice work in harmony with the use of open communication, trainings, and religious support to make it a good experience for both the patient and his or her family instead of a frightening and confusing one.

References

Axia College of University of Phoenix. (2007). Communicating About Health: Current Issues and Perspectives. Retrieved on January 28, 2010, from Axia College, Week two reading, axcess HCS 320-Health Care Communication Strategies course website, 2007

Flower, J. (1992). Differences Make a Difference. Retrieved on January 28, 2010, from the ProQuest Power Search database.

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