COMMUNICATION IN HEALTH EDUCATION
Health education mainly depends upon good communication. The
purpose of communication is to transmit information from one person or group of
people to another person or group, with a view to bringing about desirable
In communication, ideas must travel between the sender and
the receiver that is between the speaker and listener or writer and reader. In effective
communication the receiver must understand the message correctly.
Need for communication:
To get along with people
To understand people (patients, team
workers, friends, etc) and, in turn, to be understood.
To gain their confidence and respect,
especially patients and community, and to be respected.
The key elements in the
communication process are:
Communicator or sender, He is the
originator of the message, his objectives must be clearly stated. In health
education the nurse is the originator of the message.
Message, It should be carefully
chosen, Valid, useful and understandable. It must be arranged in proper
Audience. They are the receives or
consumers of the message and they respond to the message.
Channels of communication. The media
through which the message is sent.
Barriers to communication
The receiver may have some problem or handicaps
for example he may not be able to listen.
Emotional disturbances, worry, anxiety. Environmental
noise, congestion, invisibility etc.
strong beliefs, customs, attitudes, religious sentiments, illiteracy etc.
Key to effective communication:
Just as keys are used to open strong locks to reveal what is
inside, effective communication will help to overcome most of the barriers in
First of all we must understand our own ideas and beliefs
before we talk to others. Plan your communication. You must be
what you want to say and how to say it and to whom to say it.
Think before you talk, use the right word in the right
place, to the right person, at the right time and in the right manner. People
not only hear what you say but how you say it and observe your facial
expressions, voice, actions and other clues that convey the real message.
Once the message is sent and received allow for a feedback,
that is giving a change for the receiver to let you know what they have
understood. Be a good listener and allow the receiver to talk and to convey his
ideas and feelings.
It is important in the patient nurse relationship to help
the patient tell his problems and feelings, which will help proper diagnosis
Make use of your five senses -
touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight for clauses in the receiver. Observe
with the intent to understand and report to a senior nurse when necessary. Do
not interrupt when others are talking.
Try to understand just as you would like to be understood.
As important function of the nurse is to get to know the sick and the well in
need of help, effective communication will be helpful to a large extent.
Education is a process of learning and experience, through
which knowledge is acquired and attitudes are developed to result in
intelligent and skillful behaviour.
Teaching is the art of inducting and helping people to
learn. The teacher only induces and helps, but the actual knowledge must be
acquired by the effort of the learner himself.
What is learning? Learning is doing.
Under what conditions do we learn
When do we need to learn?
are we known of what our goals or aims?
When do we learn in a practicals?
At what time do we reward and
When do we connect that is being
learned with something we already knew or familiar with.
When do our learning signifies the
personal meaning ?
When do we learn through emotional experiences?
When do we know to apply our
knowledge and skills that are already learnt?
What are some ways in which we can
help people to learn?
We should make our points clear.
Whenever possible, we should
demonstrate what we want people to learn.
We should make the group feel
secured(friendly and at ease).
We should encourage free discussion
What are causes of non-learning?
Use of poor teaching method.
Poor health of the learner.
Frustration of the learner because
his needs have not been met.
Worries of the learners.
Bad home and work conditions.
Standards too high for learned to
Use of difficult instead of simple
Helping the learner so much that he
does not learn to
Health is only one aspect of human
welfare and does not exist in isolation. It is closely lined with others such
as housing, economy, security, agricultural property and so on.
prevention of disease and promotion of health, health education is one of the
most important functions of the health team. The nurse should know some of the
common methods of health teaching so that she can select the most suitable
methods for individual and group teaching.
Some of these methods that the nurse uses will depend on the
groups educational background and their experience with the situations and
their experience of work.
Why should we use health education
materials or media? We use materials
To provide information
To encourage change in attitudes
To stimulate change in behaviour.
What should we look for when
selecting materials for use in health education?
The contents should be
They should be understood by the
The material should be brief and
The material should be attractive.
The material should be up to date
It should have a central theme or idea.
It should suggest action to be followed by the people.