Hus 614 : Communication Skills Assessment Answer


Modes of communication

Apart from the use of preventive measures for medical inventions, proper communication of the threats that is imposed by the outbreaks of communicable diseases is of prime focus in recent times. With the evolution of the electronic media, the interest of the public in health information has also increased significantly. Depending on the purpose, the kind of message and the kind of audience the communication needs to be delivered to, there can be various forms of communication available for proper channelling of the news of the outbreak of an infectious disease. Some of the forms of communication can be mass media campaigns, stories in news media, popular entertainment, media advocacy and communication through interpersonal means (Schiavo, 2013).

Using popular entertainment for communicating to the youth can be most efficient. The entertainment media such as popular televisions shows, movies or songs and most importantly the social media, is able to attract attention of the young people (Quintero, Harrison & Quick, 2013). Therefore such forms are used for the purpose of communicating the treats of the infectious diseases. Not only messages about the outbreak but certain educational messages as well preventive measures can be communicated by this form.

Communication in the form of interpersonal methods is suggested for the parents. This can make an impact on the behavioural change of the parents towards the emergence of the disease, as a result of which they will be willing to take preventive measures for the protection of the family (Shen, Sheer & Li 2015). Interpersonal communication constitutes verbal communication in the forms of phone calls, interviews, community forums and several other means.

In the case of the medical workers an integrated form of communication is required. This refers to combination of different communication strategies such as verbal communication through telephone calls, followed by media campaigns and several educational interventions (Friedman et al., 2016).

Conflicts arising while communication

While communicating with various constituencies, a human resource manager can face several problems since a huge amount of information needs to be sourced and delivered at various levels of the federal, state as well as the local government levels. The major problems faced while communicating is the lack of coordination in streamlining the messages. This conflict can be solved by establishing a national information centre which can be accessed in cases of such emergencies from where the information can be extracted and delivered in a coordinated fashion. Often there is a lack of transparency while the delivery of messages which too can be overcome by a national information centre (Austin & Pinkleton, 2015).

Another challenges that can be faced is with the language of communication. Certain minor groups are unable to comprehend the English language which is generally used while delivering such messages. In order to avoid such circumstances, native languages should be put into use. Even alternative forms of communication can be used which will help to attract only the minor populations such as communicating through the church or neighbourhood organizations. While communicating with the health care providers, certain problems can be faced when the health workers lack proper contact channels (Hargie, 2016).  This problem can be overcome by communicating and educating the health agency personnel regarding the procedure that should be followed while delivering the messages to the health care providers in their respective areas. They should be provided with proper channels for receiving the messages from the human service resource managers.

Pertinent aspect of the messages

In order to attract the youth towards the health messages, the content of the message should conceptualise short-term events rather than long term events, since they are not able to identify themselves with the long-term events in abstract terms. Their conceptualisation is mainly based on immediate events. The relevant content of the message should be designed in such a way that the youth is persuaded to think about the present scenario in respect to the outbreak and is able to take certain actions (Jha, Lin & Savoia 2016).

The content of the messages to be designed for the parents should contain information that is directed towards the safekeeping and welfare of their family, especially their children (Petronio, 2017). The information should be explicit as they need to learn about the disease that has caused the outbreak. Additionally the message should contain several precautionary steps that needs to be taken in order to prevent the disease. This will draw the attention of the parents, as they would be eager to follow such protocols in order to keep their children safe.

In the case of the health care workers, the messages should contain detailed account of the occurrence of the outbreak like when did it occur, or the nature of the occurrence and to what extend damages have been done by the outbreak (Luca & Suggs, 2013). The message should have an educational aspect since most of the time the health care providers are ignorant of the nature of the disease that has caused the outbreak. Proper guidelines should be mentioned explicitly in the messages which needs to be followed by them, while providing care to the victims of the outbreak.   


Recipient: youth

Context: Outbreak caused by


Recipient: Parents

Context: Outbreak caused by Salmonella Infections

Delivery variable: Conversation in a community forum


Human service resource manager: To all the parents and guardians present here, I would like you all to be informed of the fact that an outbreak has been caused by Salmonella infection which is seen to be linked with Maradol Papayas.

Parents: Where has the outbreak taken place?

Human service resource manager: Presently the outbreak has affected the New York City largely, where a total of 220 people were victimized, followed by 1 death.

Parents: What is the causal agent of this disease?

Human service resource manager:  This particular outbreak was caused by the salmonella infection that spread from the maridol papayas that is imported from Mexico. Five different strains of salmonella was identified namely Thompson, Kiambu, Agona, Gaminara, and Senftenberg.

Parents: What are the symptoms of this disease?

Human service resource manager:  The usual symptoms are Nausea, Vomiting, Abdominal cramps, Diarrhoea, Fever, Chills, Headache and Blood in the stool.

Parents: How can be prevent this disease?

Human service resource manager:  Wash your hands, Keep things separate, and avoid eating raw fruits, in this case the maradol papaya.

Human service resource manager:  Be careful of your family, especially your school-going children. If they happen to fall sick, then them immediately to the doctor. If required make arrangements for hospitalization of your child or family member. Keep an eye on the food items

Recipient: Health care workers

Context: Outbreak caused by small-pox

Delivery variable: Medical interventions


On 08/06/2017, a total number of 340 patients were diagnosed with smallpox in the area of Minnesota. The Public health department has brought to floor its emergency plan and has activated an Emergency Operations Center to coordinate response efforts. The Public health department has begun vaccinating all emergency response healthcare workers providing care to smallpox patients. Once vaccination of the emergency responders has been completed, it will notify you about how to obtain smallpox vaccination for you and your staff.

It is urged that all healthcare providers in the area to be aware of the initial symptoms of smallpox, including:

  • Fever as high as 101°F to 105°F (38.3°C to 40.6°C)
  • Malaise
  • Prostration
  • Headache
  • Backache
  • Vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Chills
  • Anorexia
  • Pharyngitis

These prodromal symptoms last anywhere from two to four days. Rash lesions develop after the fever subsides.

If you suspect a patient has smallpox, contact the local public health department at its telephone number, immediately for consultation. Follow guidelines for standard, contact, and airborne precautions to protect healthcare workers and other patients. The Public health department is working closely with hospital infection control practitioners to ensure all staff have the necessary personal protective equipment and training to reduce the likelihood of transmission of disease from patients to staff or other patients.

If you have questions about how to diagnose or treat a patient with smallpox, contact the public health department via telephone or visit its website. More detailed information about smallpox is also available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at The Public health department will update the medical community with information as the situation changes or new information is known.

Communication theories:

The communication messages that should be delivered to the specified groups should evidently have clarity and simplicity. The messages that are communicated should be governed by usage of certain communication theories in order to make the messages more relevant and to the point. One such theory that can be implemented is the Health belief model. This model illustrates the perception of an individual towards a personal risk. This can also influence the behavioural change of an individual towards decreasing the amount of the risk. The major attributes of the health belief model includes one’s viewpoint of the severity of the threat occurred due to the outbreak, the recommended actions for the benefits, inhibition in taking actions, signals to action and motivation for performing those actions (Green & Murphy, 2014). The message that is delivered should address these factors in order to create an impact on the audience.

Another such theory that can be implemented is the Social Cognitive Theory.  This theory is applicable during interpersonal communications with the parents or the family members (DiClemente, Salazar & Crosby, 2013). This theory addresses the personal experiences that helps to learn. Not only the personal experiences, but also observing the actions of others can have an impact on the person’s health behaviour. The key factors of the theory are risk perception and confidence in one’s ability of taking an action.


From the above discussions of the report it can be successfully concluded that communication during the outbreak of an epidemic is highly important. The human service resource managers are to play an important role in carrying out the communication with the various constituencies. There are several forms of communication identified for delivering the messages to the youth, the parents and to the health workers, of which certain specific forms are applicable only to a respective group. In order to design relevant messages, certain communication theories should be applied in order to have a larger impact on the relevant social groups.


The role of a human service administrator is quite vital during the incidents of outbreaks of infectious diseases. The problems of infectious diseases require professional help from the human service administrators who are engaged in roles as to communication to various constituencies during an outbreak. This role is imposed on them by the department of health of the respective states or countries. This report aims to illustrate health communication to the youths, the parents and the medical workers through the use of suitable messages. The report further states the problems faced while this communication is conducted to the various constituencies. It also discusses the theories that are applicable in terms of the communication to the mentioned groups of the society. In conclusion it can be stated from the report that the messages designed will help create an impact on the community in terms of the youth, the parents and the health care workers.


Arnold, E. C., & Boggs, K. U. (2015). Interpersonal Relationships-E-Book: Professional Communication Skills for Nurses. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Austin, E. W., & Pinkleton, B. E. (2015). Strategic public relations management: Planning and managing effective communication campaigns (Vol. 10). Routledge.

DiClemente, R. J., DiClemente, R. J., Salazar, L. F., & Crosby, R. A. (2013). Health behavior theory for public health. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Friedman, A. L., Kachur, R. E., Noar, S. M., & McFarlane, M. (2016). Health communication and social marketing campaigns for sexually transmitted disease prevention and control: What is the evidence of their effectiveness?. Sexually transmitted diseases, 43(2S), S83-S101.

Green, E. C., & Murphy, E. (2014). Health belief model. The Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of health, illness, behavior, and society.

Hargie, O. (2016). Skilled interpersonal communication: Research, theory and practice. Routledge.

Jha, A., Lin, L., & Savoia, E. (2016). The use of social media by state health departments in the US: analyzing health communication through Facebook. Journal of community health, 41(1), 174-179.

Kreuter, M. W., Farrell, D. W., Olevitch, L. R., & Brennan, L. K. (2013). Tailoring health messages: Customizing communication with computer technology. Routledge.

Lin, C. A. (2014). Communication technology and social change. In Communication Technology and Social Change(pp. 17-30). Routledge.

Literat, I., & Chen, N. T. N. (2013). Communication infrastructure theory and entertainment-education: An integrative model for health communication. Communication Theory, 24(1), 83-103.

Luca, N. R., & Suggs, L. S. (2013). Theory and model use in social marketing health interventions. Journal of health communication, 18(1), 20-40

Petronio, S. (2017). Communication privacy management theory: Understanding families. In Engaging theories in family communication (pp. 107-117). Routledge.

Quintero Johnson, J. M., Harrison, K., & Quick, B. L. (2013). Understanding the effectiveness of the entertainment-education strategy: An investigation of how audience involvement, message processing, and message design influence health information recall. Journal of health communication, 18(2), 160-178.

Robinson, M. N., Tansil, K. A., Elder, R. W., Soler, R. E., Labre, M. P., Mercer, S. L., ... & Sokler, L. A. (2014). Mass media health communication campaigns combined with health-related product distribution: a community guide systematic review. American journal of preventive medicine, 47(3), 360-371.

Schiavo, R. (2013). Health communication: From theory to practice. John Wiley & Sons.

Shen, F., Sheer, V. C., & Li, R. (2015). Impact of narratives on persuasion in health communication: A meta-analysis. Journal of Advertising, 44(2), 105-113.

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