21 Sep 2022


The Communication Process: Steps, Models, and Examples

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Academic level: College

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Despite being viewed as an essential human behavior, the nature of discussions between patients and doctors is critical in ensuring the doctors understand the nature and extent of the problem, to find an amicable solution. Communication processes extend to non-verbal discussions, such as a high-pitched voice to indicate anxiety and frowning to show disgust or discomfort. Based on the coveted TV show Greys Anatomy, we can critically analyze the communication process that occurs between a patient and a physician, highlighting the highs and lows that come with communicating to patients in the medical profession (Desmond, 2013).

This television drama is in a hospital setting, whereby the doctors depict in an artsy form the everyday challenges that physician’s encounter in the medical field. The communication process in a hospital begins when a patient sets up an appointment to undergo a consultation, or when an incident occurs and he/she is rushed to the emergency bay. When the doctor is assigned a case of a patient, they kick start the conversation by understanding what happened. The patient explaining the exact circumstances that led to them having the medical complications helps the doctor in fully understanding the extent of the injury or illness and establishing the steps to be followed for an efficient treatment process.

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Communication between physicians and patients is critical since the technology and expertise of doctors will not always give the surgeon a clear idea of what they are dealing with. In Greys Anatomy, the doctors engage with the patient, and any other persons who are related to them, so as to establish additional information even concerning previous medical procedures, or a recurrent problem so that a clear treatment process can be created. In the show they show creating a clear line of communication creates trust between the patient and their doctor, it helps the patients keen to understand the complexity or simplicity of the issue thoroughly and helps the hospital administration to know how to deal with any extreme medical cases.

Once a patient is assessed by a doctor from their first day in the hospital, the communication process grows through the doctor going back to the patient after different tests have been conducted to explain their findings. In some exceptional cases involving a minor, or a patient who is incapacitated the communication process grows towards the parents or next of keen (Su & Chang, 2015). For further steps to be taken, such as surgery or administering a particular kind of drug the communication has to be made to the concerned parties so that they can make a valid decision based on the facts they have available. In the TV drama, the decision-making process, and the complexity of the relationships are portrayed, as some patients, or next of keen let their faith or beliefs, hamper the medical process as they believe what they stand for is supreme compared to what the doctors are recommending.

A difference in opinion has been shown to create friction, and when the guardians of a child or keen decide to do to the contrary of the hospital's opinion, the physician might try a last effort to try and convince the party to go the course that the doctors are recommending. Through the show, they indicate disagreements in many communication processes are bound to occur, but this difference helps in improving the understanding between the two parties (Su & Chang, 2015). Disagreeing will not cause fallout in such a situation, but the only thing the disagreement will do is steer one party in the direction the other wants.

In a communication process, speaking effectively with confidence on an issue a person believes in is important, the facial expressions and body actions will aid in the conversation. In the show, medical practitioners show their emotions so as to show they are in full agreement with a suggestion; they demonstrate their hesitance and also indicate their complete dissatisfaction or disagreement with a decision. In Greys Anatomy, there are moments that a patient, their keen, or even a doctor will talk with a high pitched tone, to express their emotions and convictions to the other party.

A communication process can change from being friendly to be more aggressive depending on the level of understanding between the two sides. When the physician sees a patient’s life is being compromised by the degree of reasoning held by their caregivers or next of keen, they might seek legal intervention so that the hospital can take action they deem necessary. Patients or their families can change the conversation to be more aggressive, by going to a doctor through a court process or filing a complaint with the hospital administration. Patient’s complaints can be brought about when a doctor goes against the wishes of another party, or when they cause a patient’s condition to worsen due to negligence on the part of the physician.

In conclusion, communication can be seen as a critical area in ensuring people can understand each other. The process can grow and change depending on the level of interaction experienced between the individuals who are communicating. For a conducive environment to exist between two conversing people, it is necessary for both parties to have an open mindset and an understanding attitude. Communication processes might fail to follow standard processes, but it’s up to the two individuals to find a clear line of communication to come to a cordial understanding.


Desmond, C. (2013). Global Communications Newsletter: July 2013. IEEE Communications Magazine, 51 (7), 1-6.

Su, H., & Chang, S. C. (2015). New Television and Old Campaign: The Experience and Lessons in Digital Television Transition in Taiwan. International Journal of Journalism & Mass Communication, 2015.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). The Communication Process: Steps, Models, and Examples.


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