Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Extra Credit: Combining COMM250 and COMM354

After transferring from my previous college at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at the beginning of the year, I decided to change majors from nursing with a minor in Spanish to a double major in communication studies and Spanish. Having taken minimal communication classes at my previous college and only taking one 100-level communication class last semester, I picked up two COMM classes that actually counted to confirm my interest in my new major. I signed up for RMCL (COMM250) with little known about what was going to be taught in it. From my experience in the 2 communication classes at my previous school, the only recognizable concept was rhetoric. While deciding from the list of other communication classes, I decided to take another class that pertained to my life as well as my old major; communication in healthcare (COMM354). Having spent a lot of time dealing with doctors and nurses and specialists with Diabetes, I was quite interested to study what the doctors and nurses were doing wrong in their communication methods.
Fortunately for me, I enjoyed both classes and feel that I have finally picked a major that interests me. What was interesting was seeing various concepts in one class that I felt could have been applied to the other and vice versa. For example, one topic that I wanted to see taught in the other class is the concept of the spiral of silence. In healthcare, there are very sensitive topics that people discuss like abortion and universal healthcare. One thing that I have noticed since learning this concept is that if your healthcare beliefs differ from a large group of people in a certain community, people are much less likely to throw their 2 cents into the conversation
Another RMCL topic that I felt could have been taught in the other communication class that I took would be political polarization. As is most topics nowadays, most healthcare topics spend a lot of time in the media. Right now it's impossible to turn on CNN or Fox and not hear the mention of Trump's 'repeal and replace' attempts going on now. Also, going as far back as the introduction of The Affordable Care Act, the constant coverage by the news eventually evolved the idea of the ACA so far that they even helped create the 'terrifying' title of Obamacare.

As I have learned, communication exists everywhere and there is always a chance to study and interpret it differently. I have found the concepts in this class fascinating and applicable to everyday life and I would continue to recommend this class to other communication students.

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