The Importance of Interpersonal Communication Skills
By Lindsey M. Lee, RDH, MS and Diana B. Aboytes, RDH, MS
Dentistry is a people-focused profession, in which good communication skills are essential. Patient care requires effective communication to assess and accurately address a patient’s chief complaint, triage emergencies, establish a common goal during treatment planning, and to ensure informed consent is obtained. In health care, strong interpersonal communication skills can help to improve patients’ health outcomes and satisfaction levels. By using the tenets of effective interpersonal communication, clinicians can improve verbal and nonverbal communication skills, effectively manage conflict, improve cultural sensitivity, increase the accuracy of their perceptions, and strengthen team collaboration.