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Students study health communication

For the first time at Queens, Dr. Zachary White is teaching a class called Bedside Manners that Matter: Communicating About Health, Illness, and Culture. This course is intended for communication and science majors alike, because communication is the "Universal lens in which to view and understand things."

Dr. White developed the course hoping to integrate health research and communication. He is teaching his students to be able to demonstrate theoretical and practical application of health communication principles, theories, and challenges in real-life health settings.

"We will all have to face healthcare decisions at one point or another, so it is important for us to understand these situations," he said.

The students in this class do a lot of hands on work and get real experience, Dr. White said. For some of the assignments, the students will actually observe real healthcare facilities, such as the waiting room at Presbyterian Hospital. Students also have the opportunity to use the simulation lab that the nursing students use. In this lab, the students work to create and simulate tough situations that happen in healthcare and work together to discover the best way to solve these issues.

Dr. White also said that students learn about traditional communication styles as well as doctor-patient communication. They learn about the health standards given to us by the media and culture. 

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