Human relations involve interaction, how well an individual relates to others and how feedback is translated in every engagement. Communication, whether verbal or non-verbal, forms the crux of every successful human relation. [Craig in Feng] argues that communication is a” practical discipline” and as such, should be given much emphasis (2006). There are several theories that scholars have laid out, which are then translated into practice. Communication has different levels and strategies to be used, depending on the context.
In the health care arena, healthcare and therapeutic communication occurs between an individual who was a specific need and another one equipped with techniques that may be useful in dealing the situation (Tamparo and Lindh, 1992, p. 9). Healthcare communication or simply health communication is defined as the “study and use of communication strategies” that are essential in informing and influencing individuals and community in making decisions that will contribute to the betterment of one’s health (National Cancer Institute, 2002).
Health communication is vital in planning and creating a successful communication campaigns. These campaigns are not limited to the creation and distribution of brochures or putting up a web site. An effective health communication utilizes various channels in addressing pertinent health issues. The scope of health communication is likewise not limited to disease prevention, health care policy but encompasses improvement of the quality of life of the individuals in a given community. An effective health communication is capable of adding to the knowledge base of not only the patient but the health professional as well.
This way, health communication tackles disease prevention and health promotion. The patient and health professional become exposed to a wide variety of health information, which may then be used in the diagnosis and prognosis. Likewise, it can also affect one’s beliefs, attitudes and behavior which may ultimately alter norms, resulting in behavior change for health enhancement. Health care communication may assist individuals in choosing their health plans, health care providers and treatments.
Health care communication is also capable of inducing actions, whether to espouse a stance in relevant health issues. When health communication is carefully drafted, researched and laid out to the public, it may reinforce support and relationships among patients and health care professional (National Cancer Institute, 2002). It may provoke health campaigns and public messages, allowing the patient and the community access to possible health risk information. Furthermore, health communication may eventually inform the individual and the community the importance health care system.
On the downside, health communication cannot offset insufficient health care service. It also cannot address multifaceted health issues and behaviors on its own. Complex issues are difficult to thresh out by health communication alone. Health communication alone cannot solve the problems that may be related to health such as poverty and environmental pollution. It may need to take into consideration the position of the government, organizations, businesses, and the community (National Cancer Institute, 2002).