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Communications and Emotions in Healthcare

Efficient communication and understanding of emotions are vital for healthcare specialists to offer a supportive and comforting atmosphere for patients, improving the whole healthcare experience. One of the main elements of a good relationship in healthcare is exhibiting genuine feelings and communication. It becomes very challenging for patients to communicate effectively with healthcare staff and specialists, especially when the staff do not understand the patients’ emotions. This paper will discuss communication challenges in healthcare and touch on some of the effective communication strategies in healthcare settings.

Some healthcare challenges arise from nervousness and the language barrier. For instance, children tend to experience major anxiety when being attended to by health practitioners, especially dentists. They sometimes experience fear through non-verbal cues such as biting their nails, walking behind their guardian, or even showing teary eyes when receiving dental cleaning services. However, to achieve effective communication and efficient management of children’s emotions, medical practitioners should involve children in every step of medical visits to make them comfortable and help them overcome any fear, for instance, by showing and explaining to the children the instruments to be used. Parents can also help their children overcome dental anxiety by explaining their dental childhood experiences to the children to help them have a positive attitude toward their dental encounters.

Notably, effective communication fosters a good relationship among healthcare providers and assistants. Dryden and Greenshields (2020) assert that efficient communication promotes and enhances positive interactions between family-nurse relationships, while poor communication destroys family-nurse relationships. Besides, a strong bond with patients nurtures positive experiences in healthcare settings. For instance, in a dental setting, the dental assistant must first talk with the patient to create a relaxed atmosphere before the dentist comes for examination. The assistant dentist can engage the patient by asking questions and confidently and knowledgeably advising the patient to make them feel safe and open up about their feelings.

Nonetheless, it is sometimes challenging to communicate and express feelings. A patient could shy away from revealing that they are experiencing pain or lack enough confidence to open up to a health practitioner on their issues. Barlow (2021) pinpoints ineffective speaking up as a subset of communication failures in healthcare settings. The failures can result in a patient’s wellbeing, including the deterioration of severe illnesses, especially when patients withhold important medical information. For instance, a parent can worsen their child’s tooth decay, especially if they had initially ignored claims of the child experiencing pain. Hence, it is necessary to address health issues in detail.

Another communication challenge in healthcare is with children with disabilities such as ADHD, autism, or delayed speech. Nonetheless, the key element to recognizing and communicating with children with disabilities is to use non-verbal strategies. It is vital to employ the main components when communicating with children, such as showing, demonstrating, and having patience with parents and children (Wood, 2020). Dpandorf (2021) recognizes that some children lack non-verbal clues, which is all right. According to Dpandorf, health practitioners need to support and value children’s non-verbal communication abilities and try their best to meet their needs. Simply because a child is non-verbal does not imply that the child cannot understand anyone. Healthcare workers should be mindful of the diverse abilities of children in order to build a durable friendship and connection with them.

In conclusion, communication and emotions are vital elements in healthcare that impact the quality of relationships between health workers and patients and determine the patients’ wellbeing. Compromising and mindful health practitioners can make patients realize they can offer assistance. Effective communication begins with patients by staying positive and helping patients meet their needs through active listening and asking questions. Though it can sometimes be challenging, putting in effort and medics showing that they care can help a patient be at ease.


Barlow, M. (2021). Enhancing intergroup communication in healthcare: The role of the receiver. Focus on Health Professional Education (2204-7662), 22(3), 78–84.

Dpandorf. (2021). Children with developmental disabilities: 5 communication tips. Deron School.

Dryden, P., & Greenshields, S. (2020). Communicating with children and young people. British Journal of Nursing, 29(20), 1164–1166.

Wood, J.T. (2020). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters. Cengage.


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