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Effective Communication in Healthcare

August 03, 20232 min read

Effective Communication in Healthcare:

Insights from Retired Researcher and Pediatric Nurse Donna Dixon

In an educational presentation to Riverbend Rotary this week, Donna Dixon, a retired pediatric nurse with extensive experience in research and training other nurses, enlightened us on the crucial role of effective communication in healthcare. She delved into the various communication styles healthcare providers often encounter when interacting with families of hospitalized patients.

Understanding the different types of communication styles can significantly improve the quality of care provided and foster better relationships between healthcare providers and the families they serve. According to Dixon, there are four primary categories of family members in terms of their interaction with healthcare professionals.

Recipients of Care

Firstly, Dixon described the 'Recipients of Care' - those who are highly trusting and have little background in healthcare. They rely entirely on the healthcare team's expertise and implicitly trust their decisions regarding their loved one's care.

Monitors of Care

Next, the 'Monitors of Care', who are the opposite of Recipients, were highlighted. They tend to have a low level of trust and want to be involved in every decision, constantly seeking detailed information and always advocating for their loved one's earliest possible release from the hospital.

Managers of Care

'Managers of Care' occupy a middle ground. While they do trust healthcare providers, they scrutinize each step, wanting to comprehend every detail of the care plan for their family members.

Silent Care

Lastly, Dixon pointed to the 'Silent Care' group. They largely remain absent from the details of their loved one's care, not actively participating in discussions or decision-making.

Dixon emphasized that healthcare providers are trained to recognize and effectively communicate with these diverse groups. Recognizing the communication style of the family can ensure that healthcare providers are delivering information in a way that is most useful to them, ultimately enhancing patient care.

The wisdom shared by Donna Dixon reinforces the need for empathetic communication in healthcare. By understanding these different communication styles, healthcare providers can ensure families feel heard, supported, and engaged in the care of their loved ones.

Retired Pediatric Nurse, Donna Dixon, engaging with Riverbend Rotary members during her presentation on healthcare communication styles. She's seen here sharing her extensive knowledge, based on years of experience training nurses and communicating with families of hospitalized patients.

Retired Pediatric Nurse, Donna Dixon, engaging with Riverbend Rotary members during her presentation on healthcare communication styles. She's seen here sharing her extensive knowledge, based on years of experience training nurses and communicating with families of hospitalized patients.

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Eric McRoy

Eric McRoy is a dedicated community leader and active member of the Riverbend Rotary Club. With a passion for service and a keen interest in making a positive impact on the lives of others, Eric lends his experience and expertise to various local initiatives. As a skilled communicator and enthusiastic volunteer, he enjoys sharing stories of the club's accomplishments, inspiring others to join the mission of creating lasting change in the Riverbend area and beyond.

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Speaking to a Rotary Club audience can be an exciting, but sometimes daunting, opportunity.

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