Writing for Today’s Healthcare Audiences
9781554811496.jpg
  • Publication Date: February 4, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781554811496 / 155481149X
  • 192 pages; 6½" x 9"

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Writing for Today’s Healthcare Audiences

  • Publication Date: February 4, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781554811496 / 155481149X
  • 192 pages; 6½" x 9"

Primarily designed for students seeking careers in healthcare communication, this book also serves as a useful guide for nascent practitioners. Healthcare writing audiences are diversifying, from traditional physicians and patients to administrators in government and insurance groups as well as technical practitioners. Writing for these increasingly diverse healthcare audiences is the focus of this book, which has just enough theory to lay groundwork, plentiful examples to illustrate how theory is practiced, summaries that highlight key points, and realistic practice exercises.

In addition to the emphasis on diverse audiences, the book stresses the importance of the writing process, from pre-writing to final editing. The book includes writing checklists for completeness and accuracy, and it incorporates many helpful real-world examples of healthcare documentation.

Comments

“Robert J. Bonk, the noted authority on writing in the pharmaceutical industry, provides highly useful and sensible coverage of what writers need to know to craft texts within a range of healthcare professions. In concise chapters that make good use of sample documents from many medical contexts, Bonk relies on a solid rhetorical underpinning to encourage writers to be alert to the importance of purpose, audience, and genre in designing medical documents. He covers the practicalities of researching and writing from medical sources, and he offers advice on designing both documents and their accompanying visuals. Bonk’s book should prove popular on many campuses in the growing number of undergraduate courses in healthcare communication.” — Stephen A. Bernhardt, University of Delaware

“I particularly value Bonk’s attention to the different kinds of potential audiences for healthcare information, the purposes the writing might need to serve, and the ethics involved in presenting such material. Putting ethics right up front, then showing how those ethics apply (even at the beginning of the process when you are selecting sources of information), is an essential part of becoming an effective healthcare writer. This book is also notable for how well it integrates the mechanics of clear communication with real-world examples of texts healthcare writers need to produce.” — Lili Fox Vélez, Scientific Writer and Editor

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
Preface

CHAPTER 1: PRELIMINARIES OF HEALTHCARE WRITING

  • Chapter Objectives
    Thinking as Readers, Not Writers
    Overview of the Writing Process
    Inputs and Outputs of Healthcare Writing
    Typical Documents for Healthcare Writers
    Ethical Responsibilities of Healthcare Writers
    • Social Contract of Professionals
      Ethics, Respect, and Sensitivity
      Healthcare Writers as Advocates
  • Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 2: AUDIENCES FOR HEALTHCARE INFORMATION

  • Chapter Objectives
    Primary and Secondary Audiences
    Categorization by Knowledge Level
    Writing Techniques for Audience Groups

    • Layperson-Focused Example
      Administrator-Focused Example
      Practitioner-Focused Example
      Researcher-Focused Example
  • Focus on Non-Researcher Audiences
    Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 3: SIMPLE STRATEGIES BY PURPOSE AND CONTEXT

  • Chapter Objectives
    Audience, Purpose, and Context
    Input Conditions into Output Parameters
    Simple Strategies for Simple Situations
    • Spatiality
      Chronology
      Specificity
      Importance
  • Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 4: COMPLEX AND NESTED STRATEGIES

  • Chapter Objectives
    Complex Strategies for Complex Situations
    • Problem, Method, Solution
      Classification and Partition
      Comparison and Contrast
  • Nested Strategies and Signposting
    Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 5: RELIABLE SOURCES OF INFORMATION

  • Chapter Objectives
    Accessing and Assessing Healthcare Sources
    Traditional Sources in Hard-Copy Format
    Expansive Sources in Electronic Format
    Expeditious Searches for Information
    Effective Selection of Search Engines
    Substantiation of Document Content
    Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 6: EVIDENCE THROUGH TEXT ARGUMENTATION

  • Chapter Objectives
    Evidence as Building Blocks
    • Classical Rhetoric for Persuasion
      Induction and Deduction
      Cause and Effect
  • Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 7: EVIDENCE THROUGH VISUAL DISPLAYS

  • Chapter Objectives
    Evidence Built with Graphics
    Tables for Data Compilation
    Figures for Data Portrayals
    • Line Graphs
      Column Graphs
      Pie Charts
      Other Visuals
  • Additional Notes on Visuals
    Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 8: WRITING MECHANICS FOR HEALTHCARE

  • Chapter Objectives
    The Power of Writing Mechanics
    Building Blocks of Syntax
    Hierarchy of Sentence Structure
    Avoidable Problems with Syntax
    • Restrictive Sense of Relative Clauses
      Misplaced and Meaningless Phrases
      Active, Passive, and Nominalized Verbs
      Pronouns, Expletives, and Other Foibles
  • Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 9: GENERALIST AUDIENCE OF LAYPERSONS

  • Chapter Objectives
    Strategies for Laypersons
    • Analysis of the Composite Layperson
      Constraints of Health Literacy
      Plain-Writing Strategies for Laypersons
  • Document Examples for Laypersons
    • Educational Materials for Laypersons
      Web-Based Information for Laypersons
  • Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 10: MANAGERIAL FOCUS OF ADMINISTRATORS

  • Chapter Objectives
    The Growing Role of Healthcare Administrators
    Establishing the Administrator Focus
    Document Examples for Administrators
    • Proposal Requirements for Financial Grants
      Processing Coverage and Reimbursement Claims
      Summarizing Details for Executives
  • Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 11: SCIENTIFIC DUALITY OF PRACTITIONERS

  • Chapter Objectives
    The Duality of the Practitioner Audience
    • Respecting Scientific Knowledge
      Tailoring for Application
  • Techniques for Practitioner Audiences
    • Strategies that Balance the Duality of Roles
      Mechanics that Facilitate Practical Use
  • Document Examples for Practitioners
    • Diagnostic Overview of Angina Pectoris
      Protocol Procedures for Clinical Trial
      Training Materials for Public Health
  • Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 12: REVISION TO FINALIZE DOCUMENTS

  • Chapter Objectives
    Challenges of the Postwriting Stage
    Microediting vs. Macroediting
    Cohesion and Coherence
    Diagnostic Tools for Postwriting
    • Automated Checks of Spelling and Grammar
      Analysis of Syntax and Readability
  • Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

CHAPTER 13: LEGAL AND ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Chapter Objectives
    Legal Responsibilities of Healthcare Writers
    • Governmental Regulations
      Confidentiality and Informed Consent
      Copyright and Fair Use
  • Evolving Responsibilities as Professionals
    Chapter Summary
    Exercises for Practice

Index

Robert J. Bonk is Professor of Professional Writing and Director of Professional Writing Programs at Widener University.

For a sample from chapter 1 of Writing for Today’s Healthcare Audiences, click here. (Opens as a PDF.)