Interpersonal Communication Skills

Effective interpersonal communication skills needed for professionals in the Health Care Industry.

Communication is an essential key ingredient in today’s medical field, as numerous professionals and patients strive to build a trusting and open relationship with each other. The main purpose is for one to build the kind of relationship that result in improved patient care and outcomes. Communication is so important that the German philosopher, Karl Jaspers, tells us that “Man’s supreme achievement in the world is communication from personality to personality” (Bolton pg. 4)

Communication, listening and empathetic response skills, enables us to respond to patients (and others) in a caring and respectful manner – a powerful and integral part of building relationships. And thus, the communication skills a professional possesses can play a pivotal role in determining how information is exchanged, how confidence is build, optimized patient care through appropriate drug therapy and how these relations are developed. This is the core ideals of Pharmaceutical Care, and in our presentation, the corner stone of Doctor-Patient relations.

Usually, we learn and strive towards the perfect – towards the standards of communication and care. However, in our speech presentation we tackled issues on these types of miscommunications through the hit television series House M.D in an effort to teach the importance of inter-personal communication through the mistakes and failures of others. The T.V. show, House M.D., is a medical drama T.V. show that deals with bizarre medical cases and how Doctor Greg House and his team of doctors and interns portray the flaws of health care providers through their interaction with each other and the patients being treated. We saw clips of the show and analyzed each clip that dealt with patient-doctor relationship, patient’s relative-doctor relationship and doctor-doctor relationship. Afterwards, we made skits that showed how these scenes can turn into a win-win situation instead of a win-lose or lose-lose situation. A win-win strategy is problem-solving.

Problem solving, as stated by Bruce A. Berger, “is characterized by both parties agreeing to an outcome that is acceptable” (Berger 104). As analysts, we discussed the 5 steps in problem solving and used that to improvise our skits. The first step is to identify the problem. As a team, we learned that the problem is that they lacked the necessary skills for interpersonal communication. The next step is to identify all possible solutions. By doing this, we led ourselves to step three, which is to decide what the most beneficial solution is. After deciding which the best solution is, we had to figure out the best possible method of implementing the solution. The last step in problem solving is assessing the outcome. As a group, we decided if the road we took in problem solving was the efficient way for improvising the clips through our skits.

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