American Public Health Association as a Discourse Communities Zeinab HamdanGeorge Mason UniversityIntroductionDiscourse communities involve groups of people speaking the same language. People in a particular speech group share interests on a specific topic, they possess the same knowledge about the topic, and they possess a common vocabulary that they use in discussing issues relating to the topic. John Swales asserts that “People from the discourse community share knowledge of rules of a speech. The sharing encompasses both the knowledge of one form of speech plus the knowledge of its correct use.” Swales furthers by giving a six-point definition of speech communities. Unlike other speech communities that are built through adoption, birth, and accident, a discourse community is built through training and persuasion. For this assignment, I will use the American Public Health Association as a discourse community and how health care providers under this community share interest, use the same vocabulary of words as they work towards ensuring the best patients outcome. According to Swales’ six-point definition, American Public Health Association qualifies as an example of a professional discourse community. American Public Health Association as a Discourse CommunityHealth care providers affiliated to the American Public Health Association have broadly agreed on common public goals. Health care providers strive to use their knowledge and expertise to offer health care services to their patients. Skalicky contends that health care associations are discourse communities because members of the American Public Health Association aim to achieve the best patient outcomes by offering high-quality medical services to their patients. Physicians receive patients; they conduct physical examinations on the patients to establish the disease the patients are suffering. In case they are not able to determine the patient’s condition through physical examination, they conduct laboratory tests on samples obtained from the patient. Physicians use their expertise to carefully and accurately determine the health condition that the patient is suffering. They then advise prescription and treatment methods that are to be used in treating the patient. Nurses and other caregivers take the prescription and administer them to the patient. Nurses devote much of their time to ensure that the patient recovers from their health conditions. The members of the American Public Health Association work together to ensure that patients receive the best health care services. They have made these goals public to ensure that they gain the trust of their patients. (Skalicky, 2013). All members of the American Public Health Association have mechanisms of communicating. Communication is critical in ensuring that health care providers provide high-quality medical services that will ensure the best patients outcome (Skalicky, 2013). Members of the American Public Health Association working in the same health care facility communicate through mobile phones, texting short messages (SMS), sending emails, etc. Whenever the administration of the health care facility wishes to send information to all health care providers in the facility, they can send internal memorandums. Also, when there is a need to make decisions on how to conduct specific procedures in treating patients, the administration of the facility calls for meetings. Members of the American Public Health Association attend the meeting and air their honest opinions. These opinions are used in making sound decisions on what the group should do to ensure the best patient outcomes. On the national level, representatives of health care providers from each state communicate with one another and make decisions that they later communicate to members of the group they are representing. These representatives communicate with each other through mobile phone calls, sharing emails, sending letters, holding meetings, etc. With advanced technology, these representatives also communicate through holding meetings using telecommunication or computer networks. Such communication ensures that tall members of the American Public Health Association understand each other as they are working towards the same goal.Health care providers affiliated to the American Public Health Association participate in communication and provide feedback that is important in enhancing health care service delivery. The essence of communication is to achieve a mutual understanding between the parties involved. Bloor & Bloor assert that the senders of the message determine whether the receivers of the message have correctly decoded the message through the feedback they give. After receiving information from their colleagues in the American Public Health Association, health care providers give their input through the same channels through which they received the information. For instance, if they received information through phone calls, they give their feedback through phone calls. If information was passed to them through emails, they respond to that information by writing emails. “Communication among the health care providers in the American Public Health Association is considered to be complete after the senders of the message receive and decode feedback from the receivers of the information.” (Bloor & Bloor, 2013, p. 25)One of the primary genres that health care providers affiliated with the American Public Health Association use in communicating their future aspirations is emails. American Public Health Association is an official and formal organization that represents health care providers across the country. Considering that this is a formal organization that represents health care providers, all future aspirations and programs of the association are communicated using formal means. The formal method selected should also be able to keep records for future references. The main genre that association use is professional emails. At the facility level, members of the American Public Health Association use internal memos to communicate plans and programs in the health care facility.Members of the American Public Health Association use specific lexis in their communication. Health care providers usually use scientific words when referring to diseases and other related terms. According to Reigh (2014), “health care providers use scientific terms and terminologies in communicating rather than plan languages for uniformity. Such allow other health care providers from other parts of the world to understand the information communicated without the need for translators” (p. 51). Globalization has also enabled health care to form different parts of the world to work together in ensuring the best patient outcomes. Scientific terms and terminologies differentiate the health care sector and make it unique from other communities. Scientific terms enable health care providers across the world to understand messages easily. American Public Health Association has a threshold level of members with an appropriate degree of relevant content and discourse expertise. One registers to be a member of the organization after finishing their studies in the health care sector from a recognized institution. The membership of the American Public Health Association keeps on changing. New health care providers register to become members, and other members opt to leave the organization. Some members also exit the organization through death. ConclusionFrom the discussion, it is clear that the American Public Health Association is an example of a discourse community. The community satisfies all six definitions of a discourse community. According to Swales, a discourse community involves people speaking the same language. These people have common goals that they are working to achieve. They effectively communicate with each other using unique lexis. American Public Health Association has members with the common goal of ensuring the best patients outcome. They effectively communicate with one another, thus enhancing their skills. Such enables them to provide high-quality healthcare services that ensure the best patient outcomes.ReferencesBloor, M., & Bloor, T. (2013). The practice of critical discourse analysis: An introduction. Routledge.Reigh, E. (2014). Language attitudes in an Egyptian discourse community.Skalicky, S. (2013). Was this analysis helpful? A genre analysis of the Amazon. com discourse community and its “most helpful” product reviews. Discourse, Context & Media, 2(2), 84-93.
Table of Contents