Health Professions/Occupations

Joshua B Barbour, Casey S Pierce, Shelbey l. Rolison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Health communication scholars investigate health occupations and professions to provide recommendations that benefit workers and their constituents. This research spans clinical, administrative, governmental, and technological contexts of work. Health work exists within and in response to broader institutions of control, and communication helps bridge, define, and push back on its relationship to them. This entry provides a summary of how health occupations and professions have been studied within health communication scholarship. Studies of health workers have focused especially on work in clinical settings, particularly on how membership in, attachment to, and beliefs relevant to occupations influence their work. Although much healthcare work and especially those occupations studied by health communication scholars are generally considered professions, studies have also illuminated professionalizing processes in which workers negotiate and defend their claims to specific knowledge, what counts as the work of the occupation, and the occupation's legitimacy. Research topics include the connections between occupational and organizational processes, professional identity and identification, occupational and professional outcomes, interprofessional communication, and the influence of occupational factors in technology and organizational change processes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Health Communication
EditorsEvelyn Y. Ho, Carma L. Bylund, Julia C. M. Van Weert
ISBN (Electronic)9781119678816
ISBN (Print)9780470673959
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameThe Wiley Blackwell-ICA International Encyclopedias of Communication


  • interprofessional communication
  • professions
  • professional identity
  • patient–clinician interaction
  • occupations


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