Nursing Leadership 7: Addressing Barriers of Effective Communication

Nursing Leadership 7: Addressing Barriers of Effective Communication

Healthcare professionals rely on effective communication for continuity of the patient’s care through the passing of information about the care process. However, at times the communication breaks down due to various factors associated with the elements of communication namely, sender, message, channel, encoding, receiver, decoding and feedback (Marquis & Huston, 2015). In essence, this discussion aims to identify an instance that depicts ineffective communication, analyze the factors that might have contributed to its occurrence and propose solutions to the noted barriers.

A befitting example of an instance that depicts ineffective communication within my organization was a situation in which most Asian patients failed to comply with the physician’s directives after leaving the hospital. Later they would come to the hospital with far much-worsened conditions. Consequently, the institution afterward realized that the preferred English language was the cause of such poor outcomes given the low proficiency in the English language in these persons.

In this instance, various barriers are evident in the communication process. Primarily, at the sender’s level, the factor that caused ineffective communication is the cultural bias propagated by the source. Such bias makes the understanding of the message difficult given that the receiver is to decode the sent information (L’Etang, 2012). Another factor contributing to the failed communication process was the language barrier that existed between the receiver and the sender. According to Sriramesh, Zerfass, and Kim, (2013), language barriers restrict the ability of the receiver to decode the sent information.

In closure, the strategies that I chose to utilize in the future for prevention of such situations include cultural consideration of the recipient of the information and utilization of translators. Cultural consideration will ensure that the adopted tools of communication such as language are considerate of the addressee (Clement, 2015). On the other hand, translators are effective in getting past cases where language is a challenge (Murray, 2017). With such strategies in place, it is beyond doubt that instances of communication breakdown are less likely to occur.


Clement, I. (2015). Management of Nursing Services and Education. INDIA: Elsevier Health Sciences APAC.

Murray, E. J. (2017). Nursing leadership and management for patient safety and quality care.

L’Etang, J. (2012). Public relations (1st ed.). Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2015). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Sriramesh, K., Zerfass, A., & Kim, J. (2013). Public relations and communication management (1st ed.). New York: Routledge.


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