American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Health Communication

Talking about your health can be very hard to do. There are many reasons for this. You may:

  • be in an office or hospital room where you don't feel comfortable
  • feel rushed because the doctor is only with you for a few minutes
  • not understand all of the medical terms you hear
  • not want to bother anyone with your problems
  • think that you shouldn't question the doctor
  • be embarrassed or scared to know what is wrong with you

Not understanding what you are told and not asking questions are real problems in health care today. Poor communication between you and your health care providers can cause you to:

  • not take medicines the right way
  • use equipment like hearing aids the wrong way
  • not get the best treatment
  • get sicker instead of better
  • not follow through with what you are told to do

Doctors and other health care providers are working on communicating better with patients. There have been many articles and classes that are letting health care providers know that they need to do a better job. Some of the terms you may hear about this are:

But communication doesn't just happen one way. There are things you can do to make sure that you understand what is happening to you or your loved one. Use the tips presented here to help make the most of your health care.

Related Resources

Share This Page

Print This Page