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Interpersonal Skills for the People Professions: Learning from Practice

Wednesday, 06 December 2023

7 Day Health Service
A great ideal
Can the Government make it work?

Editor: Lindsey Neville

Throughout your nursing career, effective interpersonal skills are essential when working with and relating to other people. These skills can also set you apart from other candidates when you attend interviews but, although many people already possess these skills, others may need to develop them.

This book, edited by Lindsey Neville, clearly lays out in 9 chapters the approaches adopted by people in different professions whilst working with patients/clients, multidisciplinary teams and other professionals. These include a teacher, police officer, welfare officer, social worker, mental health nurse, nurse, midwife and GP.

Each chapter explores the kind of interactions the professional has during a normal working day, the skills that they use when working with people, the legislative framework and theoretical models that underpin their practice, ethics and confidentiality, self care, continuing professional development and training. These discussions are supported by case studies which clearly demonstrate the use of 'open' and 'closed' questioning, enabling the practitioner to extract the necessary information.

At the beginning of each chapter is a pre-reading reflection activity which encourages the reader to think about the topic under discussion. The chapter also ends with some reflection activities, some key learning points and a list of publications for further reading.

As a Public Health Nurse/Health Visitor I was particularly interested in the chapters relating to nursing and midwifery but was also drawn to the first chapter which provides the perspective of the service user. We all lead busy and stressful lives as healthcare professionals but it is important that we take the time and make the effort to listen to what our patients/clients have to say and to respond to them in an empathetic and professional manner. It can be all too easy to make the 'off the cuff' remark without realising the impact it can have on a person's wellbeing.

For someone new to the people professions, this book offers a valuable insight into the skills vital for effective communication. The 'real stories' offered in the case studies make for interesting reading and the language used throughout is easily understandable without slipping into the jargon of the professions. Definitely to be recommended.


ISBN-13: 978-1906052188


Reflect Press; 1st edition (2009)


165 pages


Jan Trezise
Health Visitor, NHS Highland

Wessex Care Jobs Registered Nurses RGN RMN HCAs Community Support Assistants & Welfare Assistants