Plain language is typically used for instruction, teaching, or presenting information. In the medical field professionals are required to provide their patients with information regarding their health. This is where plain language is most useful; it facilitates efficient communication between provider and patient.
Navigating and understanding healthcare today can be confusing and frustrating even for those familiar with the system. Imagine how it might feel for someone who isn’t familiar with the system and who is being expected to interpret important information regarding medical procedures or decisions when they are ill. Also consider patients with limited literacy skills, overcomplicated medical jargon would surely not be appropriate for them. Times like this are when comprehension is crucial. Using plain language for patient instruction just makes sense.
It’s also important to note that plain language use for written works is essential, but its use for verbal instructions is also preferred. In the medical profession I feel we get so used to using terminology among our peers and sometimes forget that our audience may have little or no exposure to medical terms. The use of plain language is a way to bridge the gap between medical professionals and patients and ensure patients receive and comprehend information regarding their health and well being.
Alright, here it goes. This is my first ever blog post! I never thought it would be about technical communications, but enrolling in this techcomm class at RIT has already exposed me to many new technological experiences.
So our first blog assignment was to select a post from one of the five techcomm blogs we selected to follow for the duration of this class, and summarize said post for our classmates and any other techcomm individuals who happen to stumble onto our page :). Continue reading
One of the most influential parts of effective techcomm for me is how to create an effective info graphic. For most businesses, and industries, presentations and visual representations are used to convey ideas, facts, and opinions. Learning what the eye is drawn to, and how that relates to how the information is taken in by the reader really helped be to understand what is necessary and what is not necessary when it comes to info graphics. Learning about correct techniques to implement on info graphics helped me to decipher what is ethical when creating info graphics. This meaning showing the true and honest factual information in a way that is just as effective as it would be if the truth was smudged a little. Since learning about info graphics and what it takes to create an effective one, I really have been more diligent on how I present my information. This I can take with me for years into my field of mechanical engineering.
One thing I learned in class that I think I will help me in my future is how to identify your audience and gear your product/presentation/etc. to fit their profile. When it comes down to it the customer is the one you’ll have to please, so if you don’t know what pleases them you won’t know how to go about pleasing them. This will help me in my later work experience because my knowing my audience I will be able to help create and think of new ideas that will attract the right kind of audience that will benefit the business I will be working for. It will also help me become a better employee and help me, look like a hard working and good part of the business.
I feel as though one of the topics that we’ve covered in class that has changed the way I approach my work is Inforgraphics. Graphics are the pictures in technical communication: drawings, maps, photographs, diagrams, and tables. An infograph can be considered as a visual representation of information. Infographics help explain information in an easier way. Instead of having to write out every part of a machine, a picture of the machine with parts labeled will help the audience better understand the information. If the writer just writes out the information of parts, the audience will have to use their imagination to see where the part would lie on the machine. Whereas if there was a diagram of the machine that is labeled, the audience could understand what the writing is saying, and be able to see the part in the diagram. This will clarify information to the audience. Lastly, infographcis help with the idea of how to express information. Sometimes creating a table with information is better than writing out a list, or a diagram would help express information better than a photograph. This topic will help me in the future to understand how, as an engineer, to express information to a certain audience. It all depends on who the audience is, to determine how to express the infograph. You don’t need every equation shown to a customer to describe how the product works. Instead, a picture or diagram of the product with step-by-step instructions will explain the information to a customer must easier than the equations used to determine the product.