Barriers to Effective Communication
Communication is the process of sending and receiving messages between
two or more people; this is something that we do all the time. It is
important that nurses recognize that communication is the key to good
holistic care, as patients need reassurance and information regarding
Communication is so much more than just talking to one another. It is
how people respond to each other in many different ways (Langs 1983).
Some examples of communication are talking, writing, signing, reading
and body language, which is suggested, has several elements (Dimbleby
and Burton 1992).
Communication can be very effective but first it needs to be
established, and then maintained. Nurses can do this during an
assessment when a patient/client comes into hospital.
However, it is argued that barriers to communication can prevent
appropriate and effective care being given to patients. Communication
can either facilitate the development of a therapeutic relationship or
create barriers (Stuart and Sundeen 1995).
Because of their diverse nature, communication disorders are difficult
to classify (Crystal, 1980).
You can discover problems simply by observing an individual.
Observation can be used to establish which language is being used, if
the client has any hearing difficulties or visual impairments,
physical illness or disability, or if there are learning difficulties.
Any of these issues could control how well a person is able to
communicate with you.
Therefore, for the purpose of this piece of work, I have chosen to
explore two barriers to communication, and illustrate key points.
The first barrier I have chosen is hearing impairment and then I am
going to go on and explore speech problems as the two are linked
together. Hearing loss can be broken down into many different
categories. For example, there are two main types of hearing loss,
these are pre lingual deafness and post lingual deafness. These can
then be broken down into physical, psychosocial and spiritual aspects.
For the purpose of this work, I am going to explore the physical
aspects of deafness.
Many people just assume that the main problem with having a hearing
impairment is that it is hard to understand speech and the consequent
isolation from the rest of the noise-producing world. However, pre
lingual deafness is defined as someone who has been completely deaf
from birth so therefore gives rise to expressive problems in both
speech and language (Syder 1992). A post lingual deaf person is
someone who has lost there hearing suddenly or gradually and the loss
can be partial or total (Syder 1992).
One fifth of the countries population suffers some sort of hearing
loss (Martin and Grover 1986). This covers a wide range of problems