Communication in Healthcare

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Brenda Plaisance

Brenda Plaisance is a 24 year old who currently lives in Lafayette, LA. She is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and works for the Lafayette Arthritis and Endocrine Clinic. Brenda received training for her job at Remington College which also prepared her for certification. This program lasted a total of nine months and she graduated in August 2016. The school itself did not give the test but she had to sign up for the exam through a website with instructions from her teacher. After passing the exam, it took a couple of weeks for her certification to come in the mail.

Medical Assistant

Brenda pursued this career due to her curiosity of the human body and wanting to help people with their health. She also wanted to improve her own way of life. Some of her day-to-day activities include patient assessment, vital signs, review of patient medicines, updating patient information through the health record, and basic secretarial jobs. Through her career she comes into contact with different types of people and has to adjust her ways of communication for each visit.

The Importance of Communication

Brenda considers communication to be very important in the health field. It is crucial to understand each need or problem of the patient. Between employees, it is a different world because there is a special connection. Also, they has to work as a team to reach their goals.

Communication in the workplace

There are several ways communication is achieved in Brenda’s workplace. Employees communicate with patients through telephone encounters. Employees communicate with other employees through a computer program called eClinicalWorks. This helps update employees on the status of the patients at the time. The program is also used to send messages to each other when they cannot be reach via phone in the clinic. At each workstation there are phones to aid in communication.

Listening

When asked what type of communication has the most impact on the workplace, Brenda considers listening to be the one with the biggest influence. An example of this is when a patient is asked if he or she has any problems going on as far as their visit. If the patient answers yes, then Brenda would proceed to ask what it is. By listening, Brenda can learn more details and find the underlying problem. The provider also listens to know that something is going on and can investigate further when seeing the patient.

Language Barriers

In healthcare it is common to come across language barriers between providers and those receiving care. At the Lafayette Arthritis and Endocrine Clinic there are translators present for those who cannot speak or who speak a different language. When patients come in for their visit by themselves, the employees will write to them or show them the information on the screen to better communicate. Body language is definitely a key element with overcoming language barriers.

Improving Communication

Communication can always be improved in some way. Brenda suggested that staff meetings would help advance communication in her workplace. Staff meetings would be helpful because everyone would be present and those who have something to say can have their opinions voiced at that time. Issues can be brought to light and ideas to improve workflow can be suggested. Additionally, a suggestion box could be used if not everyone can make the staff meetings.

 

Traci Plaisance, guest blogger
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