THE ROLE OF CODE MIXING AND CODE SWITCHING IN DOCTOR-PATIENT COMMUNICATION AT FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTRE, KATSINA STATE (ENGLISH AND LINGUISTIC PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS)
This research examined the concept of code switching and code mixing in Doctor-Patient communication in Federal Medical Centre, Katsina. The data used for the analysis were obtained from tape recording, questionnaire and personal observation. The analysis employed the descriptive statistical method with Bach and Harnish (1979) Mutual Contextual Believe (MCB) as the theoretical framework of the study. The findings shows that code-mixing and code-switching are used very often in Doctor-Patient communication especially when performing therapeutic functions.
1.1 Background to the study
Communication is a process in which a message is sent from sender to receiver. It is a practice that the sender encodes message and the receiver decodes it. Communication may occur in small groups or in organizations where there is work to do, or several small groups that need to interact among each other within a single organization. Gumperz (1982),states that communication is a ‘social activity that requires the coordinated efforts of two or more individuals’ that construct talk to produce sentences. However, no matter how well rounded or stylish the outcome may be, it does not by itself constitute communication. Communication takes place only when a common understanding is obtained among communicants. Therefore, it is necessary to have the knowledge and ability to create and sustain conversation. The knowledge also needs to be not only grammatical competence but also linguistic, socio-cultural knowledge, and understanding the nature of the conversation Gumperz (1982: 2).
Interpersonal communication is one type of communication, which is defined in many ways. Miller(1978) defines it based on the situation and number of participants involved and states that interpersonal communication occurs between two individuals when they are close in ‘proximity, able to provide immediate feedback and utilize multiple senses’. Others such as Peters(1974) described interpersonal communication based on the degree of personal closeness’ or perceived quality, of a given interaction; it includes communication that is private and occurring between people who are more than acquaintances. Canary(2003)view of interpersonal communication is from the perspective of conversant goals. According to Dainton(2004:50) states that communication is used to attain or achieve personal goals through interaction with others.
As one category of interpersonal communication, medical communication is central to clinical functions in constructing a good doctor –patient relationship, which is one of the major tasks in medical profession. In this regard, Van Naerssen (1985) identifies two kinds of medical communication that includes doctor to patient and doctor to other medical personnel communications. Naerssen claims that, both kinds belong to different registers, each with a range of variations within it.’ The first is the interaction between two medical professionals (doctor with nurse, doctor with doctor, as well as nurse with nurse). The second is, the interaction between medical professionals with their patients, which includes interviews – called ‘chief complaint’, treatments, breaking bad news, consultation and follow-ups. Each part has its own structure and characteristic features that can be observed and analyzed either separately or as part of a larger discourse.