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TheCase of Jesica Santillon

Effectiveleadership involves the establishment of an effective communicationstrategy to be used within the organization (Alberts, Nakayama, &ampMartin, 2015). Such implies the creation of a foundation for a strongorganization, directing and planning for purposes of ensuringeffectiveness and efficiency of operations. Special concern is givento this subject matter in the field of care since the lives of peopleare dependent on the performance of members of the organization.

Statementof the Problem

Slightmiscommunication in the healthcare sector can easily lead to loss oflife as it is seen in the case of Jesica Santillon. Put in anotherway poor communication patterns result in grave and negative impactson aspects of patient care regarding the occurrence of medical errors(Brindley, et al., 2014). In the case, the girl’s parents wereinformed that the doctors saw it fit to stop her treatment eventhough they could witness her condition deteriorating. Her motherconsequently announces to the press that, “they are taking her offof the medicine little by little to kill her. They want to ridthemselves of this problem.” This clearly shows that the medicalprofessionals did not utilize a desirable communication pattern ininforming the parents of the reality of the situation.


IfI were the Duke Medical Center CEO, I would ensure that allhealthcare professionals under my leadership undergo periodictraining procedures on the importance of effective communication inthe sector. They would be trained on the mechanisms of ensuring thatinformation is shared with accuracy and expert confirmation at alltimes. Especially in sensitive matters such as transplants, themedical professionals would be offered briefings about the nature andspecifics of an operation beforehand. Special printouts regardingpatient information would be provided to all relevant medicalpersonnel, including surgeons and transport officials, forconfirmation purposes. I must confess that other medicalorganizations in the country also face the same challenge since thereare records of deaths that occur in the country owing to medicalmistakes because of poor communication.

SelectingDecision Criteria

Backto the case study, Jesica Santillon, who was only 17 years old, wasan illegal immigrant from Mexico. Her cause of death wastransplanting of organs (heart and lungs) into her body that were ofa different blood type from hers. The resultant effect was that theteenage girl suffered severe brain damage. It is clear that there wasa sense of cultural and social barriers between the medicalprofessionals and Jesica’s parents, who were able to seek treatmentfor her after receiving money through charity.

Selectingthe Preferred Alternative

Despitethe social barrier of class, as aforementioned, the cultural barrieremerges in the sense that the parents felt they were not given anysignificant attention, care for in-depth explanation and concern. Looking deeply into the case and as an alternative, it would bebetter if the doctors had strived to offer the girl’s parents allof accurate information regarding the situation with kindness andunderstanding. Of course, the services of a professional sociologistmust be regarded as mandatory.


Incases like that of Jesica, it is better for medical professionals toemploy services of a professional counselor or sociologist, whounderstands the culture of persons under question, in communicatingabout a dire medical outcome (Van den Eertwegh, et al., 2013). Evenin cases where the medical professionals may be highly skilled intheir work like was the case with Dr. James Jaggers (chief ofpediatric surgery), there is a need for employing a communicator whounderstands sociology adeptly. Another point worth mentioning is thatthere exists a serious need of assuring credibility in allcommunication established by the organization, lack of which leads tonegative relations between the organization and stakeholders (Burns,Bradley, &amp WeinerShortell, 2011). For this reason, medicalprofessionals ought to come clean in making explanations to affectedpersons in situations of health concerns.


Alberts,J. K., Nakayama, T. K., &amp Martin, J. N. (2015).&nbspHumancommunication in society.Pearson.

Brindley,P. G., Smith, K. E., Cardinal, P., &amp LeBlanc, F. (2014).Improving medical communication: skills for a complex (andmultilingual) clinical world. CanadianRespiratory Journal,&nbsp21(2),89-91.

Burns,L., Bradley, E., &amp WeinerShortell, B. (2011). Kaluzny`sHealthcare Management: Organization Design and Behavior.Cengage Learning

Vanden Eertwegh, V., Van Dulmen, S., Van Dalen, J., Scherpbier, A. J., &ampvan der Vleuten, C. P. (2013). Learning in context: Identifying gapsin research on the transfer of medical communication skills to theclinical workplace.&nbspPatienteducation and counseling,&nbsp90(2),184-192.

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