Communication and Media Studies 465

COMS 465: Communication and Health Care.

Prerequisites: COMS 130 and COMS 230 or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

Survey of research findings and theoretic models relevant to communication practices and health care at interpersonal, group, organizational and social levels.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course is designed to familiarize students with the rapidly developing body of literature which relates to the impact of communication practices on the delivery of health care services. The course surveys research at the interpersonal, group (including family groups), institutional, and social levels, in terms of it's impact on, and implications for, quality health care delivery. A Systems Theory perspective is used as a framework for interrelating this literature, and understanding the interdependence of communication practices at all of the above levels of interaction. The course is specifically directed to the assumption that students may be involved in the development of communication training programs for health care professionals.


Detailed Description of the Conduct of Course

The course is conducted in a lecture/discussion format. Readings from the texts and from other sources are discussed by the instructor and the class in terms of their validity, and their implications for health care training.


Goals and objectives of the Course

A significant number of communication students find employment in the health care industry where they are often called upon to develop training programs in communication skills for care providers. The specific goal of this class is to enable students to understand the importance of communication skills in a health care environment, and to understand the unique dynamic of communication processes in that environment. They should be able to use this knowledge to assess the training needs of professionals in a health care setting and to design such training programs.


Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed through the administration of two examinations in essay format. These exams will stress both the students' understanding of, and ability to synthesize, the materials presented. Students will also be required to write a major research paper, which explores and evaluates the research findings of a particular communication variable as it applies to the health care setting.


Other Course Information

This course is available for graduate credit. Graduate students enrolled in the course are required to do extra work, which includes additional reading, and the review of that reading for other members of the class. Graduate students are also required to write an additional paper in which they design a communication skills training program for a designated health care audience.


Review and Approval

Bill Kennan, Chair September 2001