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Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Latha Reddy MS, PA-C

Second Advisor

Jonathon W. Gietzen MS PA-C


This paper presents a patient that was encountered during the author's clinical rotations as a physician's assistant student. It presents an uncommunicative patient with a collection of complaints. This patient was harder to diagnose due to his compounding mental illnesses that result in him not being able to communicate very effectively. This paper presents why each one of the patient's diagnoses makes communication difficult. There is also an examination of the different types of communication disorders that can be found in the general population. There is a discussion of different tools that can be used to try and break down communication barriers.

Background: Complex patient encountered on clinical rotation.

Hypothesis: Working with uncommunicative patients is challenging for a clinician.

Study Design: Chart review and interview.

Results: Patient with multiple mental disabilities that presents with varying complaints.

Conclusion: Communicating with patients that have one or more communication disorders is not easily overcome, but there are some tools that can aid. These include, but are not limited to picture books, language machines, computers, and sign language.


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