New Healthcare Communication Emphasis

Communication Department Adds Healthcare Emphasis, Revises Public Relations Major

Dordt College recently approved a new healthcare emphasis for its communication major, which will go live in August of 2018. The addition comes along with revisions to the public relations major and minor. Associate professors Bruce Kuiper and Dr. Tom Prinsen are behind the changes.

Kuiper credits increasing demand for healthcare occupations as a driving factor behind the decision to add the emphasis.

“Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any other occupational groups,” he says, quoting the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Kuiper believes Dordt’s healthcare emphasis will help meet the demand.

“The success of healthcare depends on positive communication,” Kuiper says. “Communication is key as professionals work in preventing, diagnosing, managing, and treating illness. Jobs requiring healthcare communication in nonprofit and for-profit environments increase as the healthcare system becomes more complex.”

Dr. Mark Volkers, department chair and digital media instructor, says the new emphasis “fits in beautifully with existing courses in our own major, as well as with courses in the nursing major.”

Prinsen was behind the public relations revisions; the program now offers a public relations curriculum that is directly in sync with the public relations industry.

“Public relations professionals are asked to complete many different tasks. The revised curriculum offers students a chance to take classes that will train them in every aspect of public relations,” he says.