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Improve Your Interpersonal Communication Skills

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.


Interpersonal communication is defined as a face-to-face exchange of information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and nonverbal messages.

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Ultimately the goal of interpersonal communication is to foster an effective interaction.

Interpersonal communication linear icon concept. Interpersonal communication line vector sign, symbol, illustration. bananajazz / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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People spend approximately how much of their day communicating with others?

Handwriting text Life Skills. Concept meaning that is necessary or desirable full participation in everyday Keyboard pink key Intention create computer computing reflection document. Artur / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Interpersonal communication focuses which of the following?

Mother and daughter spending time together, drinking coffee Prostock-Studio / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Communication between providers and patients is a critical element of quality health care.

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Core skills required to practice motivational interviewing are asking open-ended questions, affirmation, reflection, paraphrasing, and asking permission to give advice.

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Conflict can positively impact team efficacy and productivity and improve stability.

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Anger management is part of conflict resolution as it removes the negative and hostile emotion from disagreements.

pset young female hospital administrator gestures during disagreement with healthcare professionals. SDI Productions / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Improve Your Interpersonal Communication Skills
Not bad, but there’s room to grow when it comes to improving your interpersonal communication skills. Consider reading more about this important facet of dental hygiene care. Good luck!
Well done! Continue to study how to improve your interpersonal communication skills. You’ve got this!
Congrats! You understand the importance of improving your interpersonal communication skills. Get out there and put your know-how to good use!

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This information is from the article “The Importance of Interpersonal Communication Skills” by Lindsey M. Lee, RDH, MS and Diana B. Aboytes, RDH, MS. To read the article, click here.

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