Healthcare Writing
A Practical Guide to Professional Success
  • Publication Date: August 4, 2016
  • ISBN: 9781554812295 / 1554812291
  • 248 pages; 6" x 9"

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Healthcare Writing

A Practical Guide to Professional Success

  • Publication Date: August 4, 2016
  • ISBN: 9781554812295 / 1554812291
  • 248 pages; 6" x 9"

Notable for its use of real document examples drawn from actual healthcare settings, in addition to its central section’s extended focus on narrative medicine and new media writing, Healthcare Writing: A Practical Guide to Professional Success provides a wide-ranging, much-needed contemporary perspective on the modes and contexts of writing most pertinent to today’s healthcare professionals. Aimed at students enrolled in university- or college-level healthcare programs, healthcare communication specialists, as well as at current clinical practitioners seeking a portable reference and guide, this book combines a detailed discussion of approaches to key healthcare document types—both professional and academic—with a thorough but accessible overview of essential points of grammar, punctuation, and style.

Key Features

  • – Examples drawn from actual practitioner documents
    – Interdisciplinary approach to healthcare writing instruction throughout
    – Extensive sets of self-check exercises on grammar, punctuation, and style
    – Multiple examples of actual undergraduate student writing, annotated and discussed
    – Quick reference chart for addressing the most common problems student writers have with APA citation
    – Modular organization in which each of the three main multi-chapter sections can be used entirely on its own or in conjunction with one or both of the other two


“Written communication in all its forms is a vital component of clinical care, building professional relationships, and documenting learning. Unfortunately, most training programs offer no formal teaching or assessment of this complex skill. Healthcare Writing covers all the bases: chart notes, emails and letters, social media, reflective pieces, illness narratives, presentations, and research. Highly recommended for learners and educators from all healthcare disciplines.” —Allan Peterkin, MD, author of PORTFOLIO TO GO: 1000 Writing Prompts and Provocations for Clinical Learners

“Arntfield and Johnston’s text ushers this important field of professional communication into view for the purposes of teaching and learning. It skillfully synthesizes practical composition guidelines, writing studies theory, and everyday ‘institutional’ writing practices with more conceptual sections such as narrative medicine, pathography, scientific research, and reflective practice. The authors highlight the implications of digital technologies and situate healthcare writing within various medical and social contexts. This text is refreshingly non-proscriptive, and it can be easily adapted to existing pedagogy across healthcare programs while meeting the needs of novices and experts alike.” —Kathryn Alexander, Simon Fraser University


Part I: Everyday Writing in Healthcare

Chapter 1: In-Patient Writing: Notes, Charts, and Reports
Chapter 2: Interpersonal Writing: Letters, Emails, and Presentations

Part II: Narratives in Healthcare

Chapter 3: Narrative Medicine, Parallel Charting, and Portfolio Writing
Chapter 4: Pathographies, Blogs, and Healthcare Wikis
Chapter 5: Social Media and Public Health

Part III: Fundamentals of Healthcare Writing

Chapter 6: Basics of Grammar, Punctuation, and Style
Chapter 7: Healthcare Research and Academic Writing (Part 1): Prewriting, Critical Analyses, Reports, and Essays
Chapter 8: Healthcare Research and Academic Writing (Part 2): Finding and Using Sources

Chapter 6 Review Quizzes

Permissions Acknowledgements

Michael A. Arntfield is Associate Professor of English and Writing at Western University and former Fulbright Chair, specializing in law and literature at Vanderbilt University.

James W. Johnston is Assistant Professor of English and Writing at Western University.