Communication in the World of Politics



Katie Masters graduated from Louisiana Tech in the fall of 2015 with a degree in Political Science. She has recently been spending her time volunteering for and working closely with local political candidates in her hometown. While pursuing her degree, she worked with a local law firm that included the city attorney, a prosecutor, and an assistant district attorney, learning about the law and keeping up with the elections. Her time spent with politicians, working with lawyers, and attentiveness to elections is inspiring to me, and an easy choice interviewer with the upcoming elections.

Taking an Interest in Politics

Katie as always had an interest in politics; however, when she was in the 6th grade, she had the opportunity to participate in her class “play debate” regarding the presidential candidates of 2004, George W. Bush and John Kerry. The debate was between the Bush twins, of whom she played Jenna Bush, and the Kerry daughters. It was the first time she had a true realization and understanding of politics and had the opportunity to speak in front of the entire 6th grade of her elementary school. That was the initial ignition of her love for politics.

The Influencer

Katie found the political figure to be most influential is former President George W. Bush. Despite what people think of him, she believes he was a great speaker. His speech after the attacks on September 11, 2001, when for a moment in time he brought the people of this nation together, was one of the most moving speeches she has ever listened to. His ability to reach out to people in the most personal way, capturing their attention, treating them as a lifelong friend no matter who they are, is something she believes is most inspiring to her. People give him such backlash for the terrible events that happened during and after his presidency, but she believed they don’t understand or possibly remember how he reacted to every situation, at any event, or even just carrying out daily presidential duties as a strong leader who had the ability to make people come together for moments in time without the worrying of racial, religious, political, or gender issues that we see today.

Accomplishing Political Science via Communications

Being out of college for almost a year, Katie says at this time some of her biggest accomplishments dealing with communications actually happened while trying to achieve her political science degree. One example that she gave was when she took a political science debate class and President Les Guice happened to be sitting in the classroom that day. On that day the topic of debate was whether attendance should be mandatory for classes at Louisiana Tech. After Katie stated what her stance was on the topic Dr. Guice agreed with her and even asked her questions about how she thinks the problem could be fixed regarding attendance. This is just one example of many that Katie gave me on how her experience going through the political science program enabled her to accomplish many things in and out of class due to good communication.

Communications and Politics

When asking Katie about how communication plays a role in politics she stated firmly that communication is the only way to gain popularity in the political world. Backing up this claim, she said “The only way a politician can become elected is if his or her name is popular throughout the public.” Regarding this she stated that the only way a politician can become popular throughout the community or country is through good communication skills whether through mass written emails, billboards, or even social media.

Presidential Candidates and their Communications Skills

Since the presidential election is coming up, I asked Katie how well each candidate is doing with communicating, she said that social media usage, such as Twitter and Facebook, has played a pivotal role in how these candidates have connected with the younger and older audience.  She recalls that past presidential elections have focused more on television commercials for campaigning, but technology has changed the game for how candidates communicate. When asked what candidate has done the best job at communicating to voters, she said both candidates have done a mediocre job at best. She says that when the presidential candidates finally get to debate against each other on September 26 it will be easier to determine who actually relates to the public better.


Cason Pyles, Guest Blogger


A Love for Helping Others


 A group of trainers

Charles Densmore started off as just an average gym patron working out with his buddies trying to improve himself both physically and mentally. He found that when he trained his friends that it was something he felt a real passion for doing. He switched his major from Engineering to Kinesiology to reflect his new found aspirations. The more he learned, the more he found that things he learned in the gym, referred to as “bro-science”, were false information and most of it could lead to potential injuries. His better understanding of how the body functioned gave him a huge advantage when explaining exercises and perscribing fixes to form or muscular imbalances. After acquiring his degree, he started working with clients almost immediately.

Behaviors Expected of a Trainer

When dealing with the public you must be extremely patient and caring especially in a gym type setting. These people put their trust in you to not hurt them so you must do your best not to let them down. You need to be able to sympathize with issues they are dealing with but also push them further than they thought possible.

Things Every Trainer Must Know

It is extremely important to know your exercises, form/techniques, alternatives to exercises and what muscles are being worked. Knowing your exercises and their form/techniques is essential because you need to know the correct positioning of the body when doing the exercise so you keep you client out of harms ways such as keeping a straight back when deadlifting to prevent slipping a disc in the spine. Some clients are unable to perform an exercise due to strength levels, injuries, flexibility issues or disabilities. A good trainer knows alternative exercises that are still just as effective at working the target area. This is where knowing what muscle(s) are worked during an exercise movement.

Feelings Toward the Profession

For me, working with people is one of the greatest things one can do. To see a smile on someone’s face once they finish a set of reps they never thought they could do or a lift they thought impossible for them. People come from all walks of life; young, old, healthy, physically or mentally handicapped. They all have a different character that you get to experience and each one has a different story to tell. No two people are the same and that fascinates me. The determination some of these people express is motivating not only to myself but to other gym patrons that are watching. They make you want to be better.

Opinions of the Field

This kind of work is not for everyone. I see trainers up at the gym I train at paying more attention to their phones or their friends than with their client. Your whole undivided attention should be with the client. You can chat afterwards once their session is complete. They paid for a professional’s services not someone trying to beat their high score on Fruit Ninja.

Final Thoughts

Make sure you truly want to help people because you will be day-in and day-out with some clients. Loving what you do, whether it be training people or providing some other service, is key in succeeding in life. If you enjoy what you do, then waking up every morning will not feel like chore and you will await every day because what you do makes you happy.

Technical Communication within Health Information Management


Jessica Johnson, client service supervisor

As I started doing the research on this particular assignment, I actually came to the realization that I didn’t know anyone in the health informatics field that I am pursuing other than my teachers, so I took a chance and decided to go to the local hospital (Willis Knighton-South) in Shreveport, Louisiana where I made my way to the Health Information Management department and learned that I in fact did know a few people that worked there.

So I narrowed my search to Jessica Johnson, a client service supervisor that works for an outsourcing company called CIOX, which does the releasing of information for Willis Knighton Hospital.

Jessica Johnson graduated from Louisiana Tech University receiving her Bachelors in HIM and later graduated from Louisiana State University receiving her Masters of Health Administration. She has been working for CIOX for about five years. She has two types of employees that she oversees which are production employees and front desk employees. The production employees deal with the legal, insurance, and disability audits whereas front desk deal mainly with the doctor’s office, which both have a turnaround processing rate of 15 days.

It was funny when I asked her what did she like most about working for the company and she stated the interaction with the patients and employees. She said the customer service, which in turn, I stated seems to be a major part of the communication process with dealing with her co-workers or teammates as she calls them. She like the fact that it’s a continual learning experience, the idea of job security and its flexibility.

When it comes to communication in the workplace what do you feel is the most important concept? By maintaining a sense of professionalism I am able to be responsible for resolving issues for both employees and patients. Being able to communicate and more importantly listen to the needs of both employee and patient is not only a rewarding task it’s definitely fulfilling because you are able to accomplish a task. Customer service plays an important within communication because to be able to verbally speak with someone requires a certain factors that have to be taken into consideration such as eye contact, personality, perception, interactions and experience. There are relationships that need to be established such as the way a team member will be able to communicate to a patient and the way a patient’s capacity to follow through with medical recommendations.

But with the advancement of technology within the healthcare setting and the way that now everything has to be electronically based the communication barrier is more technical as related to emails, texts and videos within the workplace.

Health communication is vital to the way our society views health practices. These processes make up for the way people understand and use health information, such as supporting shared decision-making between patients and providers, building social support networks, delivering accurate and accessible information, facilitating the meaningful use and exchange of health information providing new opportunities to connect with culturally diverse populations.


Why is healthcare and communication important for HIT (Health Information Technology)?

  • improve healthcare quality and safety
  • Increase efficiency and delivery of service
  • Support care in the community and at home
  • Facilitate clinical and consumer decision making
  • Build health skills and knowledge

All in all communication plays an important role within every aspect of our lives but in the health information field it has many advantages that will be suitable for both patients and employees that in the long run will definitely make a difference in how we view our health.

LaKeishia Taylor, guest blogger 


References (Health Communication and Health information Technology)

Technical Communication in Health Administration Service

Bernadette Woods, RHIA

Bernadette Woods, RHIA



Bernadette Woods, Registered Health Information Administrator and Clinical Documentation Improvement Practitioner, is a Medical Records Administrative Specialist in the Health Administration Services Department at the VA Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bernadette graduated in 2010 with an Associate’s degree in Health Information Management and then again with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Informatics and Information Management in 2013. Her first job in Health Information Management was in 2011 as a Release of Information Specialist. I am also pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Health Informatics and Information Management, and Bernadette is one of my Mentors in this field of study.


Pros and Cons of effective Communication

As a Medical Records Administrative Specialist, you have to have strong communication skills. Bernadette has to interact and communicate with medical providers, fellow co-workers, and supervisors from various departments within the VA Medical Center in addition to external vendors. Bernadette primarily works independently, but she has job tasks that heavily rely on strong communication skills in the workplace.


Bernadette began the interview by stating “on a scale from 1 to 10, the job task associated with communication in the workplace registers as an 8”.  The score of the scale varies because it greatly depends on the tasks that she’s working on because she doesn’t always rely on communication in the workplace to complete her daily job tasks. The communication methods that she uses the most are verbal communication and written communication. Some examples of the verbal communication methods that she uses in her daily job duties are communicating via telephone, through staff meetings, and occasionally video conference calls. Some examples of the written communication methods that she uses in her daily job duties are through email messages, memorandums, provider queries, the facility text alert system, share point access, and written comments that she posts via the Coding Compliance Management System.  Bernadette explained that she uses written communication in the workplace the most because employees are spread throughout at the VA with some working remotely and others at several satellite sites in conjunction to the main facility. The use of written communication in the workplace also allows her to have a tracking mechanism to track errors and queries. According to Bernadette, “it’s like having a checks and balance system”.


Some positive aspects of communication in the workplace are that it allows for greater efficiency in daily job duties and the workflow process is better. Communication among fellow co-workers, medical providers, patients, and third-party vendors can build stronger rapport and working relationships. According to Bernadette, communication in the workplace allows you to gauge effectiveness and completeness of getting tasks accomplished which better enhances accuracy, timeliness, and productivity. For example, employees don’t use auto reply messages to communicate when they’re out of office as a courtesy to other staff and to inform others of who to contact in their absence. Emails are sometimes deleted before being read and ignored, or simply not responded to.  Another example is technical network failures.  They can occur because of system crashes or updates as well as weather issues that are beyond human control. When asked what she does in the event written communication isn’t effective, Bernadette replied that she has to result to communicating orally by phone, face to face visits to offices or workstations, or seek out other subject matter experts to obtain the information that she needs to complete tasks.


In Bernadette’s opinion, communication in the workplace as it relates to Health Administration Services has “improved substantially over the last several years due to advances in technology with use of smartphones, laptops, and tablets”.  The improvements have enabled communication in the workplace to be more effective and efficient.  Despite the advantages of written communication Bernadette made it clear, “you need to continue to communicate one-on-one so you don’t lose those skills, human interaction is important”.

 Posted by Catrese Coston, guest blogger

The Role of Communication within a Business



Scott Hamilton: Business Management


Not only is Scott Hamilton my dad, but also he is my idol in the business world. I decided to pick him to interview because he has had a long road to success in business management. He started out going to Arizona State University all the way back in 1981. He declared himself into business and thought it was very interesting so he stuck with it for four years and got his degree. He has since owned two bars, one being successful and one that fell apart because of communication.


Poor Communication in Management


The first question I asked my dad was, “how important is communication when it comes to being a manger of a business.” He replied, “Communication is the reason my first business failed.” He talked about how he opened his first business with his sister and they both invested the same amount into the company, but never really talked about who was going to do what job within the bar itself. This is an example of poor oral and written communication. He worked with her for several years, but he could never communicate with his sister well and the company was very thrown together. She threw him in the kitchen and she worked as a server. His sister would show up late because she said she didn’t think it was a big deal. She was also an owner so she felt she could do what she wanted. Remember this was a time when phones and email were not yet created, so oral and written communications were the two main forms. After putting up with this for a long time my dad had enough. He left the company in order to own his own business because she would not do her part as he thought she would. He said, “I would sit down to talk to her to try and fix the problems within the company and she would blow me off thinking she could make her own rules, since she paid half for the initial start up of the bar.” When he left she ended up becoming the only owner and ran the company into the ground because my dad wasn’t there to help. She eventually sold the building and lost money on what she had paid initially.


Strong Communication in Management


My dad is a smart guy, he had saved up a good amount of money working with his sister and was able to take out a small load and start another bar by himself. He laid out all the job positions and hired people that he described as “willing to help the company.” He communicated with them and told them the ins and outs of what their job entailed. Through this oral communication he set the ground rules and expectations. He also stayed in the background and work and the inventory regulator. He would speak with his cooks and waitresses at the end of every night in order to re-order the supplies they need to stay ready for the next day. He says that his company runs smoothly now because it is written out what everybody is expected to do. He also says that he trained his hostesses to talk to the cooks when it starts to get busy. This allows the cook to be ready for the rush. He has been running this company for almost 20 years and he is a proud owner.


Adapting to Technical Communication


My dad opened his successful business in the prime time of the technology advancing the early 2000’s. He said, “Technology is always changing, so it is very hard to keep up with it.” He loves his advancements, as he is now able to send schedules out through email. If someone needs to request a day off they can talk to him through email. This gives him a written way to talk to his employees. He says it makes it easier to create schedules. He has in writing what employees will be available each day, He can also go on social media in order to promote his restaurant for free. He says technical communication allows customers to give feedback online, which allows him to make changes to better the customer’s experience.


Throughout my interview I learned that communication could make or break a company, so it is very important when it comes to business management.


Robert Hamilton, Guest blogger

Lindsey Carswell and The Importance Of Effective Communication


When I was asked to interview a working professional in my field of study, Lindsey Carswell was the name that first came to mind. Lindsey is a Health Information and Informatics Management graduate from Louisiana Tech. Since graduating from Louisiana Tech, Lindsey has gone on to receive a Masters in Healthcare Administration from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Lindsey and I have known each other for years and she is actually the person who encouraged me to pursue my career in Health Information and Informatics Management. Lindsey is the office manager for Legacy Outpatient Therapy and Legacy Rehabilitation where one of her many responsibilities is to hire new people. When Lindsey interviews someone for a job, she says she looks for “organization, experience, but most importantly- how well they communicate with me.”

image                      Lindsey Carswell, RHIA, MA

I have always wondered throughout my college career how much information I learn will I actually take with me into a real job situation. In our line of study, we are taught that effective communication one of the most important parts of our job. Lindsey confirmed that communication is most important by explaining to me that communication in her words is “super important” in the work place. Without effective communication, no one knows what is going on therefore the workplace is very chaotic. Being the office manager of eighty full time employees and one hundred PRN (as needed) employees, she is responsible for them all. Lindsey says that not only does she expect effective communication from them, but she requires it.

With Legacy Outpatient Therapy and Legacy Rehabilitation having multiple offices, Lindsey works at the Corporate office in Ruston, Louisiana. Although she is based in Ruston, she is required to communicate with all offices. She says that she communicates mostly through email and text messaging, which is one part of Lindsey’s job requires a lot of technical communication. When I asked Lindsey about of technical communication in her career, she joked and said, “My career revolves around technical communication.” She is constantly working on her computer, dealing with insurance companies and billing patients. Lindsey says that technical communication is extremely important to her, because she it is often very difficult for her to stop what she is doing to answer a phone. She claims that technical communication is far more effective for her than oral communication, because she feels that she can get more things accomplished via technical communication.

Although Lindsey is a big supporter of technical communication, she also recognizes the importance of oral communication. With Legacy being a Therapy and Rehabilitation center, they see a wide variety of patients ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics as well as some blind patients. Lindsey must be able to communicate with all patients, which often requires having to orally communicate with those patients. When Lindsey communicates with these patients she is required to once again, effectively communicate.

Throughout my interview with Lindsey, she kept on stressing the importance of effective communication. Throughout my entire college career, Lindsey has given me and endless amount of advice in Health Information and Informatics Management. Lindsey is always giving me advice on the technical things of Health Information and Informatics Management, but within this interview she provided me with some of the best actual career advice. Lindsey says that, “an effective communicator will go very far in their career” and I am excited to take that piece of advice with me as I get ready to graduate and become a Health Information and Informatics Professional.

Cassidy Maddox, guest blogger