Discussion Week 7: Addressing Barriers to Effective Communication

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From moment to moment, a nurse leader’s day involves communication—with patients, families, colleagues, supervisors, and so on.
Think of a particular day you spent working in a health care environment, and consider three or four distinct points in time. For each point of time, consider the following: With whom did you interact? Which forms of communication did you use? What issues were communicated about—did they seem to be light-hearted or sensitive? Straightforward or complicated? How would you describe the pace of the interactions and your work?
As you consider these questions, it becomes clear that communication can be quite complex, with many layers of meaning that shape the experience for everyone involved. How could this awareness help you to understand instances of ineffective communication when they arise?
To prepare:
• Review the information in Chapter 19 of the course text, as well as the assigned articles.
• Reflect on an incident involving ineffective communication within your organization or another health care setting. Consider this incident through the lens of the communication process outlined in Figure 19.1 of the course text (p. 439).
• What barriers contributed to this incident? What other challenges may have influenced this situation?
• Using the information presented in the other Learning Resources, consider what could have been done to prevent or address the ineffective communication. Why do you think the use of these strategies would have resulted in better outcome(s)?

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