There has been a recent increase in the tendency of civilians to take on the attitude of a consumer when seeking medical care. Since many are now more directly responsible for their healthcare costs , Americans have begun to place greater emphasis on the quality of the relationships that they have with medical professionals. This has caused professionals to develop their communication skills and extend those skills outside the walls of their institution. Fortunately, advancements in communication technology can help, as organizations now have more opportunities than before to expand patient communication at any time between appointments.
This is critical to Health, Science, and Environmental communication because it calls attention to the methods in which we choose to relay important messages and how those messages are understood. Traditionally, patients would only be able to get reliable health information from professionals during appointment times; however, after patients depart from their appointments, a lack of communication and education from their doctors can lead to feelings of isolation from practices. Consequently, less education also means patients are not as likely to experience better outcomes.
This course has been crucial in the development of my career path. As a Social Work major, much of my education has revolved around children and families, policy, and health disparities. Although I have learned a number of ways to address these issues, communication is an underlying issue that I wish my program would have addressed more directly. With that being said, I am so grateful for the relevant information I have acquired this semester. I now feel more confident in my abilities to address health disparities with a little more background in the basics of how messages are conveyed.