Top 7 Interpersonal Communication Skills for Healthcare Professionals

Medical school programs in America typically last for four years, while the average master’s degree in nursing (MSN) takes an additional two years on top of a BSN.During that time, prospective doctors and nurses learn a huge amount about a widely varied field of subjects.

One of the most crucial skills you need as a doctor is one people might not associate with formal learning. However, interpersonal communication skills can make the difference between a good doctor or nurse and an exceptional one.

This might not be the most scientific thing you learn during your training, but it’s not always easy to get right. Every patient is different, so you need to get good at reacting to different social cues to provide the best possible care.

Read on to learn the seven most important things you need to keep in mind when entering personal interactions with patients.

1. Try to Be Understanding

As a doctor or nurse, you’ll see people with severe illnesses every day. Eventually, you will become somewhat desensitized to what they’re going through. However, for those people as individuals, their illness may have come to define their entire lives.

Try to keep this in mind when you’re dealing with seriously ill patients.

2. Develop Workplace Communication Skills

Most of your communication skills training will relate to patients. However, you need to be adept at liaising with your coworkers too. Unless you can make yourself clearly understood by others working with you, overall patient care will suffer.

This applies regardless of what field of medicine you practice. Respiratory Therapy is a hugely important discipline that requires cooperation between a large number of professionals.

3. Make the Most of Nonverbal Communication

What you say will make up the majority of your communication, but your body language has a huge role to play. Make sure you’re giving off warm, welcoming vibes, rather than hostile ones.

4. Take Cultural Considerations into Account

In today’s world, ethnic and cultural differences count for a lot. This applies to medical care as well.

There are some religious and cultural preferences certain patients have when it comes to their care. Be sure to ask about these and use this knowledge when providing treatment.

5. Treat Different Patients Differently

Different patients will respond well to different kinds of communication. Learn to pick up on these differences and use this knowledge to improve your provision of care.

6. Develop Relationships

Patients and coworkers appreciate personal touches. Get to know the people around you and become properly acquainted with them.

7. Look for Feedback

When your patients are getting ready to leave your care, ask them what you did right in terms of communication, as well as what you could brush up on. This will improve your skills like nothing else.

Using Interpersonal Communication Skills to Become the Best Healthcare Professional You Can Be

Interpersonal communication skills don’t have to be complicated, but they are crucial to your success as a healthcare professional. You want your patients to trust you, and you need those working with you to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. The tips we’ve shared here will have you on your way to being a more effective communicator in no time!

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