There is an increasing need for greater awareness and knowledge of health communication. Health care reform, end-of-life care, and pharmaceutical marketing are just a few of the issues facing the nation that are dependent upon the ability to engage in productive, meaningful health communication. Effective health communication can directly impact local communities and personal lives. The individuals who participate in health care delivery, such as nurses, patient advocates, family members, health administrators, and physicians, are increasingly being asked to communicate and collaborate more efficiently with colleagues, exchange information with patients, and address multiple audiences about health care.
A minor in health communication allows students to analyze different health contexts and accommodate increasingly diverse populations. Students can also learn about a symbiotic patient-provider relationship and the impact of technology in health care.
The health communication minor includes a curriculum of theory, research and application, focusing on health issues in the interpersonal, organizational, public, and mass-mediated contexts. The study of health communication can contribute to health promotion in areas such as patient-family communication, public health messages and campaigns, health in mass media, public health, and technology and health. This minor is designed to be a program for students from a wide variety of majors who may seek careers within health fields.
- Minor in Health Communication
Nancy Wiencek, PhD, APR
Department of Communication, Journalism and Media
School of Communication, Media and Performing Arts
Program Website: Health Communication
Associated Department: Department of Communication, Journalism, and Media
Health Communication Minor Requirements
|Any course in life science (such as BIO 106 Life Science: Human Disease)||3|
|COM 251||Interpersonal Communication||3|
|COM 254||Intro to Health Communication||3|
|HTH 205||Introduction to Health Care||3|
|COM 312||Special Topics in Journalistic Writing||3|
|Select two of the following:||6|
|The Pharmaceutical Industry|
|Population Health Care Management|
|Health Care Law, Ethics and Policy|
|Economics of Health Care System|
|Global Perspectives on Health and Illness|
|Health Care Marketing|
|Select one of the following:||4|
|Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression|
|Internship in Communication|
|Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression|
|Internship in Biology|
Coures and Descriptions
BIO 206 The Pharmaceutical Industry 3 Credits
An introduction to drug discovery and development. Topics include how drugs are used to diagnose, cure, treat, and prevent disease and how drugs affect body function. The origins of diseases and the early attempts at treatment are also covered. Designed for business majors; does not satisfy requirements for the biology major.
Prerequisite(s): BIO 100 or BIO 101 or BIO 106 or BIO 108 or BNS 107 or CHE 115.
BIO 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits
Immerses the student in field or laboratory research. The student learns to organize material, use the literature, make precise measurements, and obtain reproducible data. If possible, the student will publish the results or present them at a scientific meeting.
BIO 491 Internship in Biology 1-4 Credits
A supervised work experience in an approved organization where qualified students gain real-world knowledge and utilize their academic training in a professional environment. Placement may be in private, public, non-profit, or governmental organizations. These can include educational or research institutions. The method of evaluation will be formalized prior to the approval of the internship by the sponsoring faculty and should include keeping a journal of activities, a term paper or project report and a poster presentation. 2.5 GPA required.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.
COM 251 Interpersonal Communication 3 Credits
Focuses on the study of various communication concepts and theories and the development of interpersonal skills and sensitivities. More specifically, students will participate in lectures, exercises, and projects while exploring the role and function of relationships in their professional, social, and personal lives.
COM 254 Intro to Health Communication 3 Credits
Health communication has been shown to have a positive impact on a number of facets of the medical visit, including patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and job performance and satisfaction. This course will provide students with tools to implement health communication practices in a healthcare setting in order to improve these areas. In addition, health communication is particularly useful in cross-cultural situations, both in regard to the patient-provider relationship, when the ethnicities of the two parties may be different, and when cultural beliefs may impact a patient’s medical wishes. Part of the tools for implementing health communication into the practice setting includes an understanding of the role that culture can play in healthcare and the development of strategies to provide optimal medical care while also respecting cultural intricacies.
COM 312 Special Topics in Journalistic Writing 3 Credits
Provides students with the opportunity to explore specialized topics in journalistic reporting and writing. Each course will focus on a specific area in the broad field of journalism. Examples include business reporting, health reporting, and sports reporting.
COM 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits
Independent Research and Study allows juniors and seniors in good academic standing to investigate topics of interest under faculty supervision. Projects must be approved by the faculty member, department chairperson, and academic dean no later than the third week of the semester in which the project is to be conducted. Only one project can be scheduled in a semester, and for no more than four semester hours; up to 12 semester hours of independent research and study may be counted toward graduation. Note that individual departments may have additional restrictions.
COM 491 Internship in Communication 1-4 Credits
Places qualified students in a professional area related directly to their communication training. Students may intern in a communication position with a corporation, small business, media outlet, public relations agency, non-profit organization, political party, sports organization, or other similar organizations. A minimum of 50 hours of internship per credit is required. Written reports, a final project, and supervisor evaluations are used to analyze and evaluate the experience. For students majoring in the Department of Communication and Journalism only, primarily juniors and seniors. No more than two internships are permitted for each student; exceptions may be made. The deadline for registration is the first Friday of the semester.
Prerequisite(s): 3.2 GPA and permission of instructor.
GLS 325 Global Perspectives on Health and Illness 3 Credits
Explores the different international perspectives on health and illness. Themes include how men, women, and children in respective civilizations are treated and viewed within their communities or nations, as they become ill. Particular attention is given to the contrast between various types of traditional healing and Western medical practices, and their interactions. Discussions will also compare the usefulness of national versus international health agencies in dealing with global health problems.
HTH 205 Introduction to Health Care 3 Credits
This course is an introduction to the components of the health care industry in the United States and to the interactions of these components in producing and supplying health care. We examine the nature of health, and the various institutions and personnel which seek to provide health services; we explore the means by which we pay for these services; we assess the relationship of technology to provision of health care services; we study the various ways that our government interacts with the providers of health care services; we investigate the ethical implications of issues in health care; and we explore health care sectors from an international perspective.
HTH 215 Population Health Care Management 3 Credits
In this course, we study how disease is distributed in populations and of the factors that influence or determine this distribution. This course introduces the basic methods and tools epidemiologists use to study the origin and control of non-communicable and communicable diseases so that policies and mechanisms to enhance the health of populations can be developed.
Prerequisite(s): MSD 205 or MTH 120 or ENV 200 or PSY 201 or BNS 250.
HTH 315 Health Care Law, Ethics and Policy 3 Credits
This course analyzes the role of the law in promoting the quality of health care, organizing the delivery of health care, assuring adequate access to health care, and protecting the rights of those who are provided care within the health care system. It will also examine the public policy, economic, and ethical issues raised by the health care system.
HTH 336 Economics of Health Care System 3 Credits
This course presents ways in which economic analysis can be used to explain issues in the health care industry. Microeconomics tools will be used to describe the behavior of consumers, producers, and third parties of the health care sector. The course also investigates the role of government in regulating the health care sector, and in providing services to the poor and elderly. Finally, we will use this foundation to examine some recent changes in this industry, and to analyze the most recent proposals for further changes.
MKT 380 Health Care Marketing 3 Credits
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the role, functions and tasks of healthcare marketing. Attention is devoted to applying basic marketing principles to the healthcare sector. Marketing decision making and analysis will be emphasized through the use of cases and current readings that focus on a variety of healthcare organizations, including hospitals, assisted living facilities, MCOs, and pharmaceutical companies.
Prerequisite(s): MKT 200; junior & senior standing.