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Communication Barriers in the Healthcare Workplace
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Communication Barriers in the Healthcare Workplace

Communication is very important for everyone to have. It is essential for any human being in the world to be able to communicate with another human being. Still, sometimes there are barriers in the world around us that hinder the communication process from succeeding or even happening in the first place. Barriers to communication in health care are pretty common. Healthcare professionals are often riddled with communication barriers in the workplace.

Let’s see what these barriers to communication in healthcare are and how they affect the communication between the healthcare worker and the patient.

Competing Demands

Within a setting like a hospital, there are certain instances where people need attention from the staff or a doctor at that moment. However, sometimes the demand for the attention of certain staff members becomes way too much for them to handle. This causes aspects of the situation to lose some footing on actual coherence and clarity for the staff workers and the patients involved as well. 

In a sense, the patients in a workplace are now competing for the demand of the services of the workers inside and thus causing some issues to arise. The staff are often outnumbered by the number of patients (this is true, especially in the pandemic affecting the world right now), and this causes there to not be enough people around to take care of all of the patients within the workplace at many times.

The competition that this scenario creates for the patients heavily affects the communication aspect of the patients with the staff workers. Humans can only concentrate on so many things at a time that, oftentimes than not, things are going to be left out due to the amount of information being processed by the staff at any given moment in the workplace.     

Lack of Privacy

A hospital is an example of a public venue where many other people are there with you at the same time to converse with one another in many ways. This means either as a patient visiting or as a staff member working. Communication is important to have in a public venue such as a hospital because there are many potential areas where barriers to communication in healthcare can all go wrong. Sadly though, the hospital as a public venue can be why certain interactions between patients and staff can be blocked by communication barriers at the workplace.

Many people are just shy or too concerned nowadays to say or give away too much information about themselves. This is still true for public venues and especially hospitals. The place being open to so many other people can be daunting for many to get used to because of the sheer number of people going around and about the hospital’s premises. This causes a lot of anxiety in a lot of patients to discuss or divulge any important information to the hospital staff at a given moment. 

This lack of privacy in most cases in the hospital can be a real problem for getting effective communication out there in the workplace due to this issue. Thus it is one of the barriers to communication in the healthcare industry.

Background Noise

There are just some things in life that we sadly cannot live without that we wish we could, and one of those things we have to live with can sometimes become potential barriers in our lives. In the healthcare workspace, one of the things that can never be taken away is that so many people are working all at once, and many patients are also being admitted there. 

This space is now crowded with a lot of people communicating with one another at the same time can create a lot of background noise for everyone involved in the workspace area at a time.

This background noise is a combination of many things, from the voices of many people trying to communicate with one another to other objects in the workplace that produce sound. Separately these things don’t seem like much, but together these communications barrier at the workplace collectively fill the background. Sometimes with so much sound that it becomes background noise, it can be a real barrier to effective communication.


The healthcare workplace can be a very hectic place to work in. From the many challenges of dealing with patients to the potential barriers to communication in healthcare, the strain put in these places due to situations that call for them to exist can be daunting.

These barriers can vary from a competing demand for the staff among the patients, a lack of privacy from the public environment that the workplace presents itself to the patients and staff or just an overall heavy amount of background noise present in the workplace for everyone to get distracted.

What other communication barriers at workplace are there within the healthcare workplace? Share it below!

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