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Interpersonal Relationships in Health Care

By cwatsw52965 Oct 31, 2013 839 Words

Interpersonal Relationships In Health Care

Effective communication is a process of sharing information two ways. There is a sender and a receiver. The message presented must be easily understood by the receiving party. Effective communication in the workplace begins with information sharing between the company employees and can contribute to the success of the company. Communication can be a multifaceted process involving the exchange of many types of information. Effective communication is essential in the health care industry because the health and welfare of others is the central focus. Communication between staff members will make a big difference in the quality and consistency of care given. Everyone must be on the same page and communicate with one another in order to keep continuous care for the patients.

Communication that reveals shared values and shows common commitment to organizational goals and patient care, enables coworkers to work together and sustain productive relationships. Lack of communication can cause miscommunication and misinformation, insensitivity, unrealistic and unfulfilled expectations, and dissatisfaction. Trust is needed between the patient and their caregivers in order for the patient to feel comfortable and safe.

Collaborative and supportive communication is being able to communicate with one another in a way that promotes trust and integrity. It helps you to connect with your employees, patients, coworkers, and family members. Description, problem orientation, spontaneity, empathy, equality and provisionalism help with collaborative communication much more so than defensive communication.  When someone communicates in a defensive way, it puts everyone on guard.  It almost puts a wall up between employers and employees.  Defensive communication can make employees feels as if the "boss" is superior to them and makes it hard to be able to approach leadership with questions or concerns.  You can feel judged by people that communicate defensively.  It is not a good or collaborative way to communicate among the workforce. Collaborative communication is being able to communicate with one another in a way which promotes trust and integrity.  This is important in the healthcare environment because we want everyone to be on the same team when it comes to patients and the families.  Communication between the doctor and the nurses need to be collaborative so they trust each other and work together to take care of the patient's needs and ailments.  The faculty at the hospital or health care center need to be able to communicate collaboratively with the family of patient's in order to assess the situation and come up with a plan for aftercare once the patient goes home.  It is important that everyone be on the same page and understand each other so the best and most exceptional care is taken with the patient.  This is true with health care and with other businesses as well. In order to get the job done and have it completed in the most efficient, cost effective, and best way, is to be able to have collaborative communication among the employees of that business and be able to trust one another so you can work together to pursue best practices no matter where you are employed. 

Assertive communication involves respect of the boundaries of ourselves and others. This type of communication emphasizes expressing feelings, but in a way that will not turn into aggressiveness. It is the middle ground between being aggressive and being passive. Aggressive communication is judgemental, threatening, breaks confidences, and violates others boundaries. Assertive communication focuses on the issue and not the person. It is a style of communication that will greatly enhance your effectiveness with others and produces positive outcomes. The goal is a win-win situation. It respects your own rights and opinions, as well as those of other people. Assertive communication conveys openness and receptiveness.

When in a health care environment, it is essential to use assertive communication when dealing with patients and with coworkers. You want to give the best care for patients even when they are difficult or their family members seem aggressive or even passive about their care. When working together with coworkers, you want to be open to suggestions as well as giving your own opinions on how to solve an issue without being aggressive.

Effective communication and interpersonal relationships are a part of our lives from disciplining our children, talking with co workers, expressing our opinions and suggesting ideas to our bosses, to communicating with your spouse. Disagreements and conflicts are unavoidable in our lives, but dealing with them in a healthy and constructive manner can lead to improvements in our working environment as well as in our home.


Chesebro, T., O’Connor, L., & Rios, F. (2010). Communicating in the workplace. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Kreps, G. L. (1985). Interpersonal communication in health care: promises and problems. Retrieved from

Myers, K. K. & Sadaghiani, K. (2010). Millennials in the workplace: communication perspective on millennials’ organizational relationships and performance. J Bus Psychol. 2010 June; 25(2): 225-238. Retrieved from

Rowe, R. & Calnan, M. (2006). Trust relationships in health care – the new agenda. Eur J Public Health. 2006 February; 16 (1): 4-6. Doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckl004

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