Addressing Barriers to Effective Communication


AddressingBarriers to Effective Communication

AddressingBarriers to Effective Communication

Anincident involving ineffective communication

Apatient was admitted in a hospital for Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD).After treatment, the patient was discharged to gradually recover fromhome. However, the patient later developed venous thrombosis due tostaying in the home without exercising. The condition is common amongFTD patients. He was taken back to hospital. The nurses at thehospital had been informed by his wife that the patient is intolerantto change due to the condition. Therefore, the nurses need not informhim of any change because the wife had all power of attorney and theauthority to decide to his behalf. One occupational caregiverinformed the patient about the next step to move him to rehab. He wasupset and began yelling uncontrollably at the caregiver. His wifewas upset too because the caregiver had been informed about thepatient’s incontinence to change.

Thecommunication process

Thecommunication is a process whose components form a link for it to beeffective. The sender encodes then sends the message to the receiverwho decodes and gives feedback(Marquis &amp Huston, 2012). Decodingis prone to the receiver’s prior experiences and frames of mind.The caregiver in the case above assumed that the need to inform thepatient applies in all patient cases and forgot to consider thepatient’s unique case.

Barriersthat contributed to the incident

Thecase above is an example of personal barriers to communication. Personal barriers arise from the receiver’s frame of mind orbeliefs. Since the caregiver understands the ethics behind informingthe patient, he overlooks the fact that the patient did not need toknow about the rehab session.

Otherchallenges that influenced the incidence

Adiscordance of expectations between the sender and the receiver isanother challenge. Although the patient’s wife had informed thehospital staff about the patient’s agitation against change, herexpectation of execution were a lot to high while the caregiver maynot have taken the information too seriously.

Thestrategies that could have been done to addressthe communicationchallenge

Themost current strategy that could have been used to avoid such acommunication problem is the SBAR (situation, background, assessment,and recommendation) technique (Thomas, Bertram, &amp Johnson, 2009). Inusing the technique the patient is not largely involved because it isa direct communication to the physician. If the caregiver could haveapplied the SBAR communication technique, it would have easy to actwithin the expectations because they could have been set in the firstplace. SBAR gives caregivers an opportunity to change an approach toconform to the condition of a patient.


Marquis,B. L., &amp Huston, C. J. (2012). Leadershiproles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application(Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott,Williams &amp Wilkins.

Thomas,C. M., Bertram, E., &amp Johnson, D. (2009). TheSBAR communication technique: Teaching nursing students professionalcommunication skills.Nurse Educator, 34(4), 176–180.