EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN RADIOGRAPHERS AND PATIENTS: INFLUENCE ON SERVICE DELIVERY AND PATIENT SATISFACTION.

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0      INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Communication is vital to good patient care in any discipline in the health domain and there is a lot that has been written concerning communication problems in the general practice of Radiology. Communication in medical imaging is a neglected area of research, despite the necessity for good communication if optimum diagnostic images are to be achieved. (Adams and Smith,2003). Interpersonal communication between radiographers and patients plays an important role in the success of radiographic exams.

Some of the patients routinely respond differently from the instructions given by the radiographer during exposure, resulting in delays or having to repeat the examination altogether. Ineffective communication during radiological procedures has many ramifications which include poor quality radiographs, inconclusive examinations, patient delays among others. Often radiographic procedures have to be repeated, which in turn increases the radiation dose to which the patient is exposed and escalates the costs of the examination

    Effective verbal communication includes the display of professional conduct, an attitude of respect toward other professionals and the patient and the responsibility to act as a patient advocate through all aspects of the patient’s care. Radiographers are frequently responsible for acting as patient advocates, taking patient histories, providing instructions for fasting before contrast studies and explaining post examination care clearly in a way and language the patient will understand.

Thus, it is important that Radiographers give explicit instructions, answer questions promptly and completely, coordinate patient care efficiently and work together with the patient. This responsibility includes being thorough in their questioning and ensuring the patient understands all instructions. Meyer 3 suggested asking specific instead of general questions, such as “Are you taking any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications or any herbal supplements?” instead of “Are you taking any drugs?” When a patient is unable to answer questions or comprehend instructions, the patient’s family or guardian should be involved in both the history-taking and the decision-making processes. By encouraging family participation, feelings of stress and frustration toward staff are reduced and system dysfunction is less frequent. Like anyone else, radiographers can be unhappy, short-tempered, rushed and interrupted, ignorant on some subjects, or charmless.

         Evidence is that healthcare fails without a conscious informed effort of communication which is the personal and professional responsibility of everyone concerned with the care of the sick. Kaushal, K. (2007).

 Improved communication between patient and healthcare providers results in patients who are happier with their overall healthcare experience. L.F.and Strife, L.J. (2011).

        Patients want to play an active role in discussing their treatment, and they want to understand the benefits of different diagnostic and therapeutic options. They need to have their questions answered.10 Patients also express a desire to have interactions that feel personal, caring, and respectful. They want medical professionals (Radiographers) to relate to them as people. 

Although research has been conducted on the attitudes of radiographers towards their patients, but no research has been done on effective verbal communication especially in Enugu metropolis. This study aimed to assess the level of verbal communication between radiographers and patients, to identify barriers to effective verbal communication and patient’s reaction to towards effective verbal communication. 

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Communication amongst people is what brings people closer to each other or far away from each other; When it is been done properly can really determine the good relationship and vice versa. In the hospital scenario, where radiographers and the patients are involved, effective communication will determine whether the patient would visit the hospital some other time or not. The problem of effective communication might be that there are no trained radiographers in terms of relating with patients no matter their wildness. Finally, several research has been carried out effective communication but not even a single research has been carried out on the effective communication between radiographers and patients; influence on service delivery and patient satisfaction.

1.3   AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The main aim of the study is to examine the effective communication between radiographers and patients; influence on service delivery and patient satisfaction. Other specific objectioves of the study include:

1.          to determine the effect of effective communication on patients.

2.          to determine the factors affecting effective communication between radiographers and patients.

3.          to determine the extent to which effective communication improves patients satisfaction and service delivery.

4.          to proffer possible solutions to the problems.

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.          What is the effect of effective communication on patients?

2.          What are the factors affecting effective communication between radiographers and patients?

3.          What is the extent to which effective communication improves patient’s satisfaction and service delivery?

4.          What are the possible solutions to the problems?

1.5   STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H0:    Effective communication between radiographers and patient has no significant effect on service delivery and patient satisfaction.

H1:        Effective communication between radiographers and patient has a significant effect on service delivery and patient satisfaction.

1.6   SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

         The study on effective communication between radiographers and patients will be of immense benefit to the entire radiographers in the sense that it will enable them to understand communication pattern to be used with the patients, in that all the patients are having different temperament and perceptions. It will also enable them to relate properly with the patient about any diagnosis in their body such that when they are being told it will not frighten them so much that they become so instabilised. Finally, the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge to this field of study and basis for further research.

1.7   SCOPE OF STUDY

         The study on effective communication between radiographers and patient is limited to service delivery and patient satisfaction.

         The study on effective communication between radiographers and patients is limited to service delivery and patient satisfaction.

1.8   LIMITATION OF STUDY

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.9   DEFINITION OF TERMS

EffectiveIn producing a desired or intended result

CommunicationThe imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.

Radiographerradiographer is an Allied Health professional who uses x-rays to produce radiographs of patients in order to help diagnose the patient’s medical condition.

PatientA person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment.

InfluenceThe capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.

Service DeliveryThe act of providing a service to customers

Satisfaction Fulfilment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN RADIOGRAPHERS AND PATIENTS: INFLUENCE ON SERVICE DELIVERY AND PATIENT SATISFACTION.