Semantic Communication Barrier

952 Words 4 Pages
Most people take the act of communicating for granted. In reality, communication is a complex activity in which the sender delivers the message, is then received and interpreted by the sender where s/he provides feedback to the sender. Furthermore, messages consist of verbal and non-verbal components. The verbal component is the actual information being sent out while the non-verbal component consists of the body language, use of space, self-presentation, and vocal intonation that the sender uses to send the message. Between the two components, the non-verbal elements play a significant part in communication. According to Burgoon and Bacue (2003), in face-to-face communication, non-verbal communication accounts for over 60 percent of the message …show more content…
Another communication barrier that parties to a conversation faces is called semantic barrier (Guo, 2009). Semantic communication barrier is a type of barrier where one party, most often, the receiver, does not comprehend the sender 's message, which may lead to misunderstanding. Words and symbols also have different meanings to various people. In healthcare, information regarding medical care is often communicated to the patient (or the patient 's family member). This information often contains a significant amount of medical jargon or acronyms that non-medical personnel cannot understand thereby confusing them. As an example of this jargon, a healthcare worker may use the abbreviation "SOB" to explain a patient 's condition to a colleague. A patient or layperson, who overhears this, could interpret "SOB" as meaning that the healthcare worker is calling him/her a "son of a b----h," however, among healthcare workers, "SOB" is commonly known as "shortness of …show more content…
Additionally, to gauge the patient 's understanding, medical personnel are also encouraged to have their patient explain their understanding of the instructions and teaching they have received. This feedback loop ensures that the caregivers and the patient understand each other. If there is any misunderstanding, the provider can further provide additional teaching and the patient is also given an additional opportunity to ask other questions. Examples of Effective Communication. For a patient with a limited understanding of the English language, many medical facilities, like The Queen 's Medical Center (QMC), are now providing translator tools for their staff to use. These tools include the utilization of medical service staff as interpreters. QMC currently maintains a listing of medical staff that is fluent in languages other than English. This allows other staff or department to draw from this list to aid in establishing communication with the

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