Importance Of Interpersonal Skills In Healthcare

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Interpersonal skills and effective communication among healthcare professionals are at the core of quality patient care. Interpersonal skills are defined by Rungapadiachy (1999, p.193) as “those skills which one needs in order to communicate effectively with another person or a group of people”. It includes verbal communication, non-verbal communication, listening skills, negotiation, problem-solving, decision-making, and assertiveness (Skills You Need, n.d.). The National Joint Committee for the Communicative Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities (1991) defined communication as, “Any act by which one person gives to or receives from another person, information about that person 's needs, desires, perceptions, knowledge, or affective states.…show more content…
However, members of each unit often times do not possess good interpersonal skills or communicate effectively with other healthcare members in spite of its importance. Thus the following points will discuss the importance of both interpersonal skills and effective communication among healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, in the management of…show more content…
Healthcare systems have traditionally been constructed around hierarchical perspectives used to train healthcare professionals (Porter-O’Grady and Malloch, 2007). In such hierarchies, senior physicians are often put at the top with certain power distances between other professionals. This can lead to difficulties in patient management when the patients safety is in question, but the healthcare professional involved may be hesitant to question the physician’s treatment plan or are too intimidated to voice out their opinions. In a study of over 2000 healthcare professionals including nurses and pharmacists, nearly half of the respondents felt pressured into administering a medication for which they had concerns, despite previously questioning the prescriber regarding the safety of the order (Institute for Safe Medication Practices, 2004). This was due to feelings of intimidation by the prescriber and an inability to effectively communicate their concerns. This resulted in 7% of the respondents reporting involvement in a medication error during that past year. Good interpersonal skills and effective communication ensures that concerns regarding patient safety can be brought up without seemingly challenging the knowledge of the other healthcare
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