The ability to communicate effectively is critical to the process of teaching and learning and to the delivery of patient care. However, in the complex and challenging working environments where clinical practice takes place, the quality of one’s communication with others can easily be taken for granted.
Effective communication is all about conveying your messages to other people clearly and simply. It’s also about receiving information that others are sending to you, with as little misinterpretation as possible. Doing this involves effort from both the sender of the message and the receiver, particularly when one or both communicators are from different cultural and/or first language backgrounds. It’s a process that can be fraught with error, with messages muddled by the sender or misinterpreted by the recipient. When this isn’t understood, and addressed, it can cause confusion, frustration, wasted effort and missed opportunity for both people.
Despite how much experience we may have, there is always more we can learn about effective communication with others especially within the context of busy clinical environments. This section of the website provides students and staff with a range of strategies for maximising communication for teaching and learning, particularly within the context of clinical practice. Three areas that students and/or workplace supervisors often comment about are:
Click on these links (or use the drop down menu on the left) to explore and extend your understanding of these concepts and their application within the context of clinical teaching and learning.