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I was on my clinical placement and was working in a mental ward. While making rounds with my preceptor registered nurse (RN), one patient asked us to give him a nicotine patch. My RN told him that she will bring that patch in a short time from the medication room. So, by that time the patient sat right in front of the medication room. The RN told me to bring that patient's medication for the morning so that we can give him all his medicines at once. It took me quite some time as there were a lot of medicines. As I was gathering all of them, I and my RN heard noises of him shouting. When we went out, the patient was fuming and was angry. He started to shout and yell that nurses have asked me to sit here and they are taking so much of time in getting me a nicotine patch. He also said that this behaviour is very disrespectful. The situation got out of hands because we lack some important abilities to handle the patient. They were being professionally competent, being devoted to our job and having developed interpersonal skills.
Interpersonal skills are one of the pre-requisites which help us to establish a culture which is person-centred. The care which is person-centred means that a practice which should be established by making relationships which are therapeutic among each and every care providers and the patients. Patient-centred care involves power and responsibility sharing and developing goals which are coherent with the values of the patient (McCance, McCormack and Dewing, 2011). It helps in the development of the practice and improvement in services provided by a healthcare professional. It serves in making a system which assists in mutual decision- making between the patient and the healthcare professional. It makes the system of the organisation more supportive and which beliefs in power-sharing. Interpersonal skills help in working with the values and beliefs of the patient. It increases the healthcare professional engagement and sympathetic behaviour towards the patient.
By using interpersonal skills, holistic care can be provided to the patient in whom he will be involved in all the decisions. This will result in more patient satisfaction and a feeling of wellbeing. It will also create an environment which is therapeutic (McCormack et al. 2015). According to Nursing and Midwifery Board Ahpra (2020), it is stated that an RN should use multiple strategies and utilize the best piece of information while making a decision and with that they should provide a safe and quality care which is person-centred. They should also engage in the professional and therapeutic relationship. An RN should also give education, knowledge and information to people while they are taking any decision which is related to their health. RN in addition to this examines the information and records and should communicate the results to the patient. They should also plan and communicate the practice of nursing. Plans should be made by them by partnering. They should make sure that all relevant and important information is documented and told to the patient (Nursing and Midwifery Board Ahpra, 2020).
If the interpersonal skills are not implemented in a healthcare facility then nurses will not be able to speak with people having different cultural, educational and social backgrounds effectively and efficiently. It is important to note that the quality of interaction between the healthcare provider and a patient can cause a major impact on the results of the patient. It can also adversely affect the health of the patient. Good interpersonal and communication skills play a key role in the smooth functioning of the organization. Therefore, a nurse should continuously improve his/her skills so as to avoid poor communication that can be dangerous and may lead to misunderstanding and confusion (Sibiya, 2018).
I have learned that it is very important for me to have good interpersonal skills and at the same time, I should always work on them so that I can make them even better. Having these skills in life is extremely important because it will help in having communication with anyone which will be clear and understandable. Interpersonal skills will also help me in making the patient feel more respected and heard. With this set of skills, I can work efficiently in a team can also communicate effectively. I have also learned that while making a decision, I should inform all the relevant parties who are involved so that no one feels excluded and they can also feel empowered. In my future practice, I will always make sure that the patient or customer has complete knowledge of each and every step. I will personally communicate all the details to the patient so that he knows the procedure. I will also engage with the patient in decision making so that we can work together to deliver quality and safe care. I will always make use of my interpersonal skills to provide the patient with the utmost satisfaction and care.
McCance, T., McCormack, B. and Dewing, J., 2011. An exploration of person-centredness in practice. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, vol.16, issue.2.
McCormack, B., Borg, M., Cardiff, S., Dewing, J., Jacobs, G., Janes, N., Karlsson, B., McCance, T., Mekki, T.E., Porock, D. and Van Lieshout, F., 2015. Person-centredness-the'state'of the art. International Practice Development Journal, vol. 5, issue.1.
Nursing and Midwifery Board Ahpra. 2020. Registered nurse standards for practise. Available at https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines-Statements/Professional-standards/registered-nurse-standards-for-practice.aspx [Accessed on 28 August’20]
Sibiya, M.N. 2018. Nursing. Effective communication in nursing. Intechopen: London, United Kingdom.
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