The Role Of Communication In Chronic Illness

1885 words - 8 pages


A. Background: According to the Webster dictionary, pharmacy is defined as, "the art, practice, or profession of preparing, preserving, compounding, and dispensing medical drugs and a place where medicines are compounded or dispensed." Pharmacists work in parallel with other healthcare providers such as nurses and doctors. They examine drug side effects and interactions, while providing patients with imperative information about the drugs they are taking. In Abigail Rome's article she talks about how pharmacists are now considered "physician extenders" due to the increasing responsibility pharmacists are being given, like providing immunizations, screening for a variety of health conditions, counseling and most importantly, providing basic medical services. According to McDonough, because pharmacists play a vital role as health care providers, their attitude while communicating to patients must be one that is professional.

B. Methods: Prior to each interaction that took place I first received a managers and patients approval to record the interaction. Due to privacy issues the manager believed it was in the best interest of the patient to only have the conversation recorded so an audio recorder was placed near the cash register. In total I observed five conversations within a half hour period, though I only analyzed four of them because they seemed sufficient to draw valid conclusions. I was able to conduct my study in this particular setting because I personally knew the manager, and he gladly let me conduct my observations at his store. These particular interactions took place at a private owned pharmacy in Manhattan, NY.

C. Analysis: In using the S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G variables to analyze each of the interactions it becomes clear that each specific variable played a role in the interaction. The four variables used to analyze the series of interactions were: Setting, Participants, Ends and Key (SPEK). In each of the four interactions recorded, participants were able to convey their identity, tone and attitude by using SPEK. A major variable known as participants involves four different patients and the same pharmacist in all four different interactions. Another variable is the setting which consists of two parts, physical and psychological. The physical setting for these interactions all occurred at the same pharmacy. The psychological setting for each patient was different because they all had different needs, as a result was different for the pharmacist. The pharmacist was able to handle each patient differently yet in each case; the pharmacist respected them which I could detect from his tone, attitude, and body language. The Ends, which can be defined as the purpose of the interaction, is clear in all four interactions because all four patients came to the pharmacy in order to get their medication refilled, bring new prescriptions and in one case get new diabetic apparatus. This variable...

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