Genres of Communication in Health Care

Genres of Communication in Health Care Genres refer to accepted forms of writing used in communicating within a certain field or profession. The conventional ways of writing must clearly come out in the process of writing. In nursing, writing is necessary and has to be accurate, clear, concise and straight to the point. There is the need for objectivity, effectiveness and efficiency in passing the message. In the end, writing is helpful in the profession in passing knowledge and sharing of ideas. Purposeful writing intends to describe the patient in a manner that other nurses understand and can use in giving prescriptions. Since it is not necessary for the patients to understand the prescriptions written in their medical books, the doctors use a language they understand among themselves. A number of genres come into play in the nursing profession. The genres include the use of reports, charts, oral presentations, letters and giving of instructions to the patients and doctors. Most important is the major document types of writing in the nursing profession, which include narratives, care plans and flowcharts that are under consideration. Flowcharts are the most important genre of communication in the nursing community. They give the steps in every process to follow for both patients and doctors within a medical facility. This is important in simplifying the flow of information in a nursing community or any other organization. Several flowcharts convey different messages aimed at simplifying the process of communication. They help in identifying the groups, personnel or departments and the tasks assigned to them and in examining of handoffs that could be occurring in a process. In addition, they demonstrate processes currently ongoing and assist in the identification of areas that need some improvement. There are a number of flowcharts with particular interest or target audience strategically placed in facilities to communicate easily and fasten the process of dissemination of information. In any medical facility the following flow charts are likely to be there; Common Office Visit, Nurse-Only Visit Flowchart. Others include Patient check-in Flowchart, Post-Appointment Lab Visit Flowchart, Flowchart Incoming Calls, In-office Prescribing Flowchart, and Prescription Renewal Request Flowchart. The language used in the flowcharts is short and clear describing the nature of service or process in a chronological manner without contradictions. The language is also basic for easy understanding in the case of patients, and that which addresses the doctors directly uses a language best understood by them with medical terminologies. For instance, procedural flowcharts in the Laboratories mostly aim at communicating with the doctors. For this reason, use of medical terminologies is acceptable. In designing the texts, flowcharts with textboxes and arrows are preferable in showing the systematic procedures for a particular service or activity. The text used simplifies the activities, brings effectiveness in the delivery of services and helps in avoiding confusion, contradiction and duplication of duties. This brings about accountability to individuals and departments assigned the various duties. In addition to the use of arrows, rows and columns also come in handy in presenting the information, depending on the nature of the message conveyed. The flowcharts have the key players in mind comprising of departments, individuals and groups that have a role to play in the process. The steps that ought to be in a particular sequence are crucial, and it is important to determine all the necessary steps without skipping any as it could lead to misrepresentation and breakdown of communication. The flow chart has a graphical construction by use of rows and columns laid out sequentially for individuals working adjacently and correspond well with units associated with the nature of work described. It is also important to place telephone numbers and other contacts for individuals and departments dealing with a particular issue to fasten and simplify information flow. Flowcharts remain essential tools in disseminating information within the nursing community and give a pictorial presentation of any process. There is use of standard symbols in constructing them to represent the many types of tasks or activities undertaken in a medical facility. This is beneficial to employees in visualizing a process in order to make it easily understandable and one that can undergo improvements or change easily. The use of different shapes aid understanding or following the processes without contradiction. The oval shape marks the beginning and the end step of a process, and the rectangle shows a specific task or step. On the other hand, the arrow helps in showing the direction of the flow of the processes as the diamond shape indicates a point of decision in the flowchart. These shapes help in understanding the stage or step an individual is in and the remaining procedures necessary to end any one given task. In understanding the flowchart as a genre of communication in the nursing community, it reveals that the community is aware of the need to be effective and efficient in performing any task. It values the need for simplification of the process and nurture teamwork with accountability taken into consideration. The community comes out as being structural with a proper understanding of the communication levels and works towards having better channels that are universal and compatible with the users. The text remains easily accessible to all users since all the charts have strategic positioning within the organization for all users and other interested parties. As a result making the use of flowcharts preferable since less, or no training ought to take place for an individual to use it. The narratives are helpful in re-authoring personal narratives of patients and change the problem story to the most preferred narrative by finding answers to the historical problems of a patient. In addition, the narratives help in mentoring new medical practitioners, conducting research and for professional growth. The reflective nature of narratives helps in the practice through filling the gap left between the theory part of it and the practical side hence aids in developing real facts as well as working intelligence. The language used in narratives ought to be precise, objective and considerate of the audience. Preciseness puts the communication of any information into focus for treatment procedures and administration of other medications. Telling the story precisely without missing the crucial information of a medical problem aids the doctors in figuring out the kind of medicine that could help the patient to recover. The narratives bring out the cultures and values of individuals and give an insight on how to handle the patients without injuring their spiritual beliefs. The narratives aim to break the bond between the patients and their doctors, in the process one gets to open up. In the end, making it is easy to know the patient’s attitude towards life and help him or her where need arises. In using the narratives, of key concern is the observance of professional ethics. In view of the fact that the doctor could have full access to a patient’s history, the doctor has an obligation of keeping that information private and confidential. Violation of this could lead to criminal prosecution in the law. The narratives paint a clear picture that is necessary for medical reports, and this is only possible if the patients gain the confidence to talk without hiding any crucial information from the doctors. In trying to navigate through the text, one ought to have all the important parts of a patient’s story to construct a concrete conclusion on figuring out the problem. For instance, some of the medical conditions are hereditary, it is important to know the family history of a patient. It is possible for the doctor to determine and have crucial information necessary in treating the patient and avoid drugs that could react with the patient’s hormonal system. The text majorly comprises of the patient’s historical health and that of other family members. The text is usable by different departments who have an obligation of treating the patient. Consequently, once the records are in place, different doctors are in a position of handling the same patient be it in a different hospital. It is clear that with narratives as a means of communication in the medical world, there is clear observance of the code of conduct and code of ethics. This paints this community as being respectful and clear organization in carrying out their duties. The design of confidentiality reveals the nursing community as being sensitive and respecting individual’s privacy. Another important genre of communication in health care is the use of fliers and handouts. This is a disguised way of communicating with their target audience. Flyers and handouts often carry various types of information. They are often small and colored favorably to attract the target audience to pick them up. Just like other public places, hospitals are areas marked with human traffic. Providing information to them through printed means remains the most effective way of communicating as customers can pick up the information in fliers and read it at their discretion. Using fliers as a means of passing information requires effective planning and designing. Just because people are picking up fliers does not imply that they are reading them. It takes keen design work and language to get the attention of the target audience as Colorful flyers attract individuals easily. When they get to pick them, the language used to them should be appealing enough to encourage them to read on. The health care management observes these in the fliers issued to provide health information to the public. Their language is often simple to understand and interesting to read. Unlike the advertisement fliers that have the freedom of language, health information fliers are restricted to the contexts. The language used is effective in passing on the required information by using the simplest and yet appealing terminologies. Some of the issues addressed in the fliers use some of the complex healthcare terminologies, a factor that is likely to limit illiterate readers or those readers with basic knowledge. It is for this reason that the fliers and handouts provided by health care organizations are accompanied by images and diagrams to help the readers relate the vocabulary used with the intended information. Observing many of the fliers issued will reveal that their choice of color and images ensures they pass on the required information to the ordinary readers. Since the fliers have no specific target audience, it becomes necessary for the designers of the fliers to ensure that they use the same medium to pass on the required information to a diverse audience. Another critical issue in the use of fliers is their location and point of collection. Effective communication calls for convenience of the medium used. In many hospitals, they place the fliers strategically to ensure all the patients and other clients going in and out of the hospital can access them with ease. For instance, some hospitals may choose to place the fliers on the reception desk of the hospital. This is where most individuals pass through and make inquiries as they place others in the doctor’s waiting lounges and hospital lobbies where there is human traffic. Those with specific target audiences are available in the patient wards, the doctors’ offices and on notice boards. As mentioned earlier, the designing of the fliers determines how effective they will be in passing of the required information. The fonts used should favor all of the target audience. This means that they use a good and big font that does not strain the readers. The information presented on the fliers is in a manner that many readers find it easy to read and understand. There is free flow of information with headlines and explanations underneath them. Images often have expressions accompanying them to make it easy for readers to understand the information.

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