The Importance of Social Skills in the Healthcare Setting

ID-100202726Competency and excellence in clinical care is a significant factor when choosing a physician or other healthcare provider. However, their social intelligence is just as much a priority.

Healthcare professionals today seem to lack the soft skills necessary to be successful in their careers.  Physicians, nurses, and other clinicians have become desensitized making it easier to stay unattached to the patients they see. Changes in healthcare have also caused providers to focus on their job instead of on the patients themselves. There is so much to patient care that sometimes the need to tend to their emotions gets overlooked.

An article in the Journal of Clinical Nursing described findings on observations between nurses and  patients. It stated that the relationship between nurses and their patients clearly affects their patient’s well-being.  A nurse who is friendly to his or her patient and who is continually compassionate does improve the health of the patient.  Patients are much more receptive to nurses who show that they care, thus responding positively physically and mentally.  It also considered the working environment an influential part of how nurses react to their patient.  She recommends healthcare agencies to encourage their workers to be more sensitive to their patients and develop a more caring environment.

What does this mean? Do clinicians need to start taking compassion classes? It sounds ridiculous but yes. That would be nice. No one wants to tell the truth about their health habits to the physician with the mean judging face. Patients need to feel supported. They will not be able to feel that if you are not able to understand what they need. Hard skills will get you the position you applied for but it is the soft skills like compassion that will make you a great and noticed provider.