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Healthcare Assignment: Impact of Effective Communication



Healthcare Assignment Instructions: Students will independently write a 1500 word (+/- 10%) essay exploring effective communication in a case study below.

In your essay, you will assume the role of a counsellor who has received a client referral. Referrals can be accessed on Moodle. You have not yet met this client. Your essay should critically reflect on how communication with the client will take place.

Your essay should address the following:

  • How would you develop rapport with the client?
  • What communication strategies would you employ to facilitate effective communication, and how would you implement these strategies?
  • What do you believe to be some barriers, such as socio-cultural factors, to effective communication with this client? How will you overcome these barriers?
  • What ethical considerations are present in this case?
  • Consider at least 3 other health professionals you may communicate with regarding your client’s healthcare? What ethical considerations are present when communicating with other health professionals? What are some challenges that could arise from this interprofessional communication?

Case Study – Client Details


Reason for Referral


Client history: Benjamin (Benny) is being referred by his GP due to concerns regarding mood and substance use. Benny presented to his GP because he has been having trouble sleeping. Upon assessing Benny’s recent mood and alcohol intake (daily standard drinks ~6), the GP has recommended Benny seek support.

Benny reports that he has been feeling ‘down’ for the past few months, especially since he had a fight with his Dad. Benny’s parents separated when Benny was 12. Benny reported that his relationship with his Dad has always been strained, but for the past few years his Dad has been seeing less and less of Benny and his siblings. Benny’s Mum does not like to talk about his Dad and becomes very upset when Benny mentions him. The last time Benny spoke to his Dad they had a fight about his Dad spending less time with Benny’s younger siblings. Benny has not spoken to his Dad since, and does not feel like he is able to get support from his Mum.

Benny works full time and enjoys his employment, but recently he reports he is having trouble concentrating on the job because he is not sleeping well. To try and sleep, Benny has been consuming more alcohol. He finds the alcohol also really helps his mood. Benny reports feeling more and more lonely, because he does not want to talk to anyone about his mood and alcohol consumption.

Relevant medications: Client has expressed reluctance regarding mood regulating medication Risk to self or others: Low


Essay Part II
In the following healthcare assignment, efforts will be taken to explore the possibilities of effective communication in relation to a case study. It is considered as an intrinsic aspect of a counselor’s job to communicate effectively within the realm of a professional setting for deriving optimum benefits, thereby ensuring health and well-being of the concerned patient. Discussions will be made with respect to identification of effective communication strategies and techniques that may be utilized in and across health professions alongside the key aspects of effective public, interpersonal and therapeutic communication in various professional contexts. The enablers and barriers to effective communication and their impacts on interactions with others will also be dealt with. Besides these, the roles of group processes and group dynamics essential for workplace teamwork interactions in addition to the cultural safety, intercultural and inclusive communication strategies both within as well as across health professions will also be explored.

According to the referred case of Benjamin (Benny), a 19 years old single man has been presented with issues linked to mental health, family support, social support, home environment, alcohol/drugs. Benny has no previous mental health diagnosis. The main reason for his referral is due to concerns because of mood and substance use. It has been stated that he is an English-speaking Aboriginal who is full-time employed and lives with his mother and three younger siblings and shares a strained relationship with his father for past several years who is divorced with his mother seven years ago. He has been reportedly feeling particularly low for the past few months owing to a fight with his Dad about his Dad spending less time with his younger siblings. Although he reportedly enjoys his job, yet recently he is unable to concentrate on his job due to sleep deficits. In an effort to induce sleep he has indulged into more alcohol and expressed that, it also aids in alleviating his mood. However, he is also feeling lonely, as he does not find it comfortable to talk about his mood and alcohol consumption to anyone. In addition, he is less likely to get support from his Mum as she gets upset whenever Benny mentions about his Dad. Further, it has been stated that the client has consented to treatment while expressing reluctance with respect to mood regulation medication. Again, he is thought to less likely pose risk for himself as well as others.

On assembling the following information regarding the client, the role as a counselor becomes even more crucial to deal with his situation. Under such circumstances, it becomes imperative to build a good rapport with Benny for better understanding his condition. Building rapport is considered as a critical component of the interpersonal coordination between the therapist and the client in case of psychological counseling (Kodama et al., 2018). Thus, in an effort to create a rapport Benny, myself as a counselor would resort to active listening skills for better understanding his story. Prior to making any intervention, I would like to give him the impression that I am here to listen and understand his story. I will necessarily be slow in my speed while approaching him and pay heed to his responses and preferences rather than imposing anything on him. I will try to make him comfortable by showing empathy and respect so that he does not shy away from expressing his thoughts. I shall make necessary arrangements to make him feel safe thereby ensuring he confides his feelings unhesitant. Upon first meeting, I shall handshake with Benny and speak by calling his name with a smile and maintaining eye contact.

Utilization of several communication strategies are commonplace for the sake of facilitating effective communication. Amongst these strategies, for the case of Benny I would like to employ the person-centered communication strategy specifically. In adopting the person-centered mode of communication, the individual is recognized as an individual at first, and responses are made thereafter in keeping with the individual’s feelings, preferences and needs (O'Toole, 2016). As per this strategy, the counselor is to treat the client with dignity, compassion and respect apart from making provisions for coordinated and personalized care, support and treatment to ensure that the individual is able to lead a better and fulfilling life independently through recognition and development of their strengths and abilities. Further, in order to implement this strategy, I would like to emphasize on effective listening o facilitate the process further (Arnold & Boggs, 2019). I shall make sure that Benny opens up about his emotional, social and practical needs that are critical to maintaining high quality of life by gaining his faith and confidence in me. Effective listening will ease out initial hesitance ensuring comfort and confidence in my counseling that will further lead to improving independence for Benny through better feelings and confessions.

Barriers pose much hindrance on the way of effective communication with the client in any healthcare setting. It thus becomes difficult to surpass those barriers and to engage in communication and derive the actual benefits out of the communication process. According to the case study, Benny has an Aboriginal mother with whom he lives along with his other three younger siblings. Relevant literatures have brought to the forefront through self-reported assessments that mental disorders are commonplace among the Indigenous people (Nasir et al., 2018). Inspection into the mental health status of the Aboriginals has further revealed that Indigenous females are more likely to develop mental health condition in contrast to their male counterparts that mostly develop because of their lack of awareness or due to cultural and ecological differences (HealthInfoNet et al., 2019). In any psychological counseling, the role of the family plays a crucial role, as they are the real caregivers who share a major proportion of time with the client. In Benny’s case, he shares his life with his mother who has divorced seven years ago. Moreover, the reason of discontentment for him is due to his fight with Dad with whom he shares a strained relationship since past some years. Hence, under such circumstances cooperation from Benny’s mother is also earnestly solicited to advance his treatment modality. Moreover, his reluctance to take mood-regulating medication must be considered carefully in relation to his socio-cultural background. These barriers can only be overcome through proper understanding and awareness about their socio-cultural elements and in order to accomplish that, participation of family is necessary. In Benny’s case, her mother may be of help to deal with the situation and offer quick respite to his issues in a befitting manner. Thus, Benny’s helplessness and his inability to share his feelings with his mother due to aloofness on her part need to be addressed for better treatment of Benny and his holistic wellbeing.

The case is presented with certain ethical considerations whereby the preferences as expressed by Benny need to be taken into seriously. First as Benny voiced his reluctance, to speak to anyone about his mood and alcohol consumption that in turn adds to his loneliness, his opinions need to be respected. His confessions and feelings need to be dealt with utmost care and measures must be taken to ensure that all that he confide remains confidential and is not divulged to anyone other than the medical professionals if necessary. Besides this, Benny’s trust need to be gathered so that he opens up more freely about his feelings and resentments. All recording of his interview must be stored carefully and subject to consent from the client for future reference. Ethics in counseling ensures that the entire procedure is conducted upholding the dignity of the client avoiding inceptions of situations related to moral dilemmas (Pope & Vasquez, 2016).

For effective intervention of Benny’s case, other healthcare professionals may be consulted. In this regard, first of all opinion of the psychotherapist may be taken seriously whereby he holds the authority of diagnosing any mental health condition, thereby paving the path for prescribing and monitoring medications apart from rendering definite therapy. In view of Benny’s condition, a psychotherapist will be qualified to suggest any medication if required to treat his condition. Moreover, since Benny has been reported to have undergone substance abuse owing to excessive alcohol consumption, an Alcohol de-addiction specialist may be consulted who will help out with Benny’s rehabilitation. If his alcohol intake may be minimized and checked upon, it will become easier to deal with his other presenting symptoms thereby aiding in his mental wellbeing. Moreover, in Benny’s case most of his feelings of low are due to his strained relationship with his Dad who has been divorced with his mother since past seven years and his recent lack of contact with and his younger siblings. Thus, it is evident that Benny’s father has a role to play although indirectly in his life. Hence, a family counselor might be of help to bring on all the family members together and resolve the issues that affect their mental health and wellbeing. However, in communicating with other healthcare professionals has their own share of challenges such as that of transfer of information to enable them in better understanding the case and that must be ensured after seeking proper consent from the client. Further, challenges from interprofessional communication may arise due to varied opinions from all experts that must be resolved through repeated consultations and mutual consensus over the dispute.

In view of studying Benny’s case, it is evident that effective communication poses an important role to play in it. Active listening skills to build rapport with the client, followed by person centered effective communication strategy to facilitate effective communication may be beneficial in this regard. However, surpassing the barriers related to socio-cultural factors and ethnicity is crucial to reap the benefits of effective communication maintaining the ethical issues of confidentiality and upholding dignity of the individual treated. Moreover, collaborating with a psychotherapist, de-addiction specialist and a family counselor may be of help in this particular case.

Arnold, E. C., & Boggs, K. U. (2019). Interpersonal Relationships E-Book: Professional Communication Skills for Nurses. Elsevier Health Sciences.

HealthInfoNet, A. I., Burns, J., Drew, N., Elwell, M., Harford-Mills, M., Hoareau, J., ... & Trzesinski, A. (2019). Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2018.

Kodama, K., Hori, K., Tanaka, S., & Matsui, H. (2018). How interpersonal coordination can reflect psychological counseling: An exploratory study. Healthcare assignment Psychology, 9(05), 1128.

Nasir, B. F., Toombs, M. R., Kondalsamy-Chennakesavan, S., Kisely, S., Gill, N. S., Black, E., ... & Nicholson, G. C. (2018). Common mental disorders among Indigenous people living in regional, remote and metropolitan Australia: a cross-sectional study. BMJ open, 8(6), e020196.

O'Toole, G. (2016). Communication-eBook: Core Interpersonal Skills for Health Professionals. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Pope, K. S., & Vasquez, M. J. (2016). Ethics in psychotherapy and counseling: A practical guide. John Wiley & Sons.


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