The Advantages and Disadvantages of Communication in Healthcare

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Communication is an essential element in achieving the desired quality of healthcare in medical facilities (El-Jardali et al. 2011, p.45). The essay uses a scenario of conversation involving a surgeon, nurse, 20-year –old patient suffering from appendicitis and her family to discuss the positive and negative outcomes of communication.

            The discussion between the doctor and the patient in regards to the surgery and expected complications which might arise from the process achieves three positive outcomes. First, according to Vasse et al. (2010, p. 190), the communication enhances a better relationship between the patient and the doctor does not only reduce anxiety in the patient but also increases the chances of achieving a quick recovery. For example, the patient gets to know how long the surgery is likely to take and prepares herself psychologically for the short-term pain if it overpowers anesthesia (Fallowfield & Jenkins, 2004, p. 313). Secondly,   communication boosts the patient's attitude and perception towards the medical procedure which promotes compliance with the health practitioner's prescriptions.  For example, the patient gets to understand the benefit of taking pain-reducing drugs (Seollon & Seollon, 2014, p. 169). Besides, the compliance can have a positive outcome of preventing unnecessary hospital readmission which saves on costs like out-of-pocket expenses (Happ et al. 2011, p.30).  Finally, communication encourages prompt action among medical practitioners like nurses and doctors which reduces the chances of negligence during delicate treatment like surgery (Mikkelsen & Frederiksen, 2011, p. 1153).  However, adverse outcomes from communication may include anxiety among the patient's family members, abuse of the patient’s autonomy by sharing her information by other parties and development of a negative doctor-to-patient relationship which might reduce the rate of recovery (Ha & Longnecker, 2010, p.40).  Besides, according to Kaplan, Greenfield & Ware, (1989, p. 115), communication may lead to the transfer of wrong information among the health practitioners which may have the consequence of limiting the surgery operation's success.


            Even though fundamental communication in the hospital has adverse outcomes,  research has shown that there are more positive benefits arising from it, and medical practitioners like doctors should engage not only their colleagues but also the patients and their close family members in matters health.


El-Jardali, F., Dimassi, H., Jamal, D., Jaafar, M. and Hemadeh, N., 2011. Predictors and             outcomes of    patient safety culture in hospitals. BMC Health Services Research, 11(1),         p.45.

Fallowfield, L. and Jenkins, V., 2004. Communicating sad, bad, and difficult news in             medicine. The Lancet, 363(9405), pp.312-319.

Ha, J.F. and Longnecker, N., 2010. Doctor-patient communication: a review. The Ochsner          Journal, 10(1), pp.38-43.

Happ, M.B., Garrett, K., Thomas, D.D., Tate, J., George, E., Houze, M., Radtke, J. and Sereika,           S., 2011. Nurse-patient communication interactions in the intensive care unit. American            Journal of Critical Care, 20(2), pp.e28-e40.

Kaplan, S.H., Greenfield, S. and Ware Jr, J.E., 1989. Assessing the effects of physician-patient interactions on the outcomes of chronic disease. Medical care, pp.S110-S127.

Mikkelsen, G. and Frederiksen, K., 2011. Family-centered care of children in hospital–a concept           analysis. Journal of advanced nursing, 67(5), pp.1152-1162.

Seollon, S.B. and Seollon, R., 2014. Face in interethnic communication. In Language and      communication (pp. 168-202). Routledge.

Vasse, E., Vernooij-Dassen, M., Spijker, A., Rikkert, M.O. and Koopmans, R., 2010. A             systematic review of communication strategies for people with dementia in residential       and nursing homes. International Psychogeriatrics, 22(2), pp.189-200.

October 13, 2023

Health Sociology



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