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…
As mentioned above, medical dominance has primarily been held by doctors with professional autonomy in patient decision making. Nonetheless, many allied health professions have developed increasing levels of autonomy in healthcare although role boundaries are still maintained. One example are physiotherapists who are increasingly given the autonomy to decide the course of treatment for a patient, however doctors retain the right to authorise treatment or to remove a patient from treatment (Ovretveit, 2008). Likewise, many therapists accept the physicians right to issue orders for patient treatment but want to be involved in the decision-making that lead to those orders (Hulme, Bach and Lewis, 1988). Hence, communication between these professionals is important to ensure mutual agreement concerning patient treatment. For example, Poulis (2007) raised the issue of deciding patient endpoints of physical rehabilitation. As physiotherapists and other professionals may have differing end goals regarding patient rehabilitation, decisions to halt physiotherapy treatment may not be made exclusively by the physiotherapist itself. With effective communication, a common goal for patients rehabilitation can be agreed on and the chances of patients receiving contradicting information decreases. Good interpersonal skills reduces

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