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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 behavioural change.
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 sequence (order)
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
Physical - The receiver may have some problem or handicaps for example he may not be able to listen.
Psychological - Emotional disturbances, worry, anxiety. Environmental noise, congestion, invisibility etc.
Cultural - 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 communication.
First of all we must understand our own ideas and beliefs before we talk to others. Plan your communication. You must be
known 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 and treatment.
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 better?
When do we need to learn?
When are we known of what our goals or aims?
When do we learn in a practicals?
At what time do we reward and punish?
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 among people.
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 understand.
Use of difficult instead of simple teaching methods.
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.
For 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 scientifically accurate.
They should be understood by the people.
The material should be brief and simple.
The material should be attractive.
The material should be up to date and timely.
It should have a central theme or idea.
It should suggest action to be followed by the people.
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