- Patient-focused from the start: CEU Nursing and Medicine students hone the essential communication skills all healthcare professionals need
People, rather than just the disease they may have, must be the focus of healthcare provision: high-quality communication between healthcare professionals and their patients is essential for that to happen. Making this a reality is the aim of the Radio Health project at the CEU Cardenal Herrera University – it gives Nursing and Medicine students the chance to enhance their listening and expressive skills, with the ultimate aim of making them better professionals.
the Radio Health project gives Nursing and Medicine students the chance to enhance their listening and expressive skills, with the ultimate aim of making them better professionals
Radio Health is a radio programme broadcast on Radio CEU, the University’s radio station, and this innovative educational project is now three years old. It enables these trainee healthcare professionals to stretch themselves and aim for truly effective communication, as they interview health experts, discuss current healthcare issues and share advice on healthy living with listeners. This, in turn, makes it possible to meet another goal: improving health awareness across society.
Participation in the programme gives these future healthcare professionals a unique learning opportunity. As they prepare the content for each programme and then put it out on air, they improve their ability to select accurate and appropriate information, show empathy with their counterparts as they undertake active listening, and adapt technical language to suit different kinds of audience. In short, it provides first class training in how to communicate effectively with others.
This academic year has, of course, being marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the programme has given the students the opportunity to discuss this huge issue, focusing both on the disease itself and the experience of those in the healthcare profession. But they have also used their communication skills to examine many other health-related issues. For example, in interviews with doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, researchers and other professionals, they have explored issues as diverse as genetically modified food, the dangers of pseudoscience, first aid in the home, care of ulcers in the elderly, treatment for mental disorders and dental sleep medicine.
A new generation of CEU students have made this innovative initiative their own. One of them is Gorka González, a fourth-year Nursing student. “Radio Health has taught me how to translate healthcare information into straightforward, easy-to-understand language. It’s shown me how to express myself clearly and understandably and how to transmit confidence through the words I use. I think it’s very important to convey information in the way that you would like to hear it if you were the patient,” he said.
It’s shown me how to express myself clearly and understandably and how to transmit confidence through the words I use.
Fellow student Nadia Honrado described this forward-looking project as “a useful and fun initiative which enables us to learn in a different way. For our future careers, it’s a great opportunity to gain knowledge about a range of different areas in nursing. For example, it helps us to learn about how to talk publicly about health issues to others, something that has been so important during this pandemic. And, of course, we improve our nurse-patient communication skills, too.”