Overview for the Interpersonal and Communication Skills Curriculum
Interpersonal and communication skills go beyond medical interviewing and history taking; they are at the heart of quality patient care. These skills overlap considerably with those in the professionalism competency domain and permeate the entire fabric of the educational program. In looking at the key components of interpersonal and communication skills, three broad areas of interest emerge:
1. communication with patients and families
2. communication with colleagues
3. scholarly communication
In practical terms, it is often difficult to separate interpersonal and communication skills because both are interrelated. Interpersonal skills are those skills that relate to the impact that one’s communication has on another. Communication skills can be thought of as a concrete skill set (e.g., the ability to deliver bad news, encourage patients to change behavior, present a lecture). In practical terms, it is often difficult to separate interpersonal and communication skills because both are interrelated.
Learning effective interpersonal and communication skills with patients and families, with colleagues, and in the scholarly setting is a life-long process. It is anticipated that the competencies in this section will be demonstrated in the clinical setting as well as the traditional classroom setting. NMAA educators will most likely provide instruction through modeling behavior, role playing, observation and mentoring through intervention.
Interpersonal and Communication Skills
Demonstrate team communication and leadership skills to work effectively with others as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group.
Demonstrate leadership skills by leading a group project to successful completion.
Communicate with referring physician to assure appropriate examination selection, including actions to be taken if the requested procedure appears to be inappropriate.
Picture archiving and communications system (PACS)
Digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM)
Identify potential abuses of confidential patient information.
Information as a commodity
Describe the challenges associated with maintaining the confidentiality of patient information stored in computer systems and transmitted via networks.
Trust in the physician
Who gets what information
Rights in the case of an error or unauthorized disclosure of information
Implementation of confidentiality procedures
Patient education on confidentiality rights
Managed care organizations
Information shared with external parties
Access to information without breaching patient rights
Use effective listening skills and elicit and provide information using effective nonverbal, explanatory, questioning, and writing skills.
Listen to the “patient’s story,” extract important details from the history taking, and provide information to their patients in an understandable way.
Demonstrate effective interviewing skills for patient assessment.
Skills of good interviewing
Challenges to the practitioner
Patient at different ages and comprehension abilities
Situation that call for specific responses
Demonstrate effective communication skills with and provide psychosocial support to specific groups of people such as the terminally ill, physically or emotionally impaired, culturally diverse patient, families, and colleagues.
Development of a personal value system
Interrelationship between personal, community and societal values
Influence of personal value system on behavior
Development of professional values
Influence of professional values on patient care
Kohlberg’s theory on the influence of individual morality to behavior
Differences between culture and ethnicity.
Influence of cultural beliefs regarding illness and recovery