Honestly, communication was one of my weaker points when I started PT school. One good thing about this is that there is no other way to go than up. I found myself really needing to work on my communication skills. This includes verbal, nonverbal, and written skills.
My verbal skills when I first started PT school were less than perfect. I didn't speak up a lot in facilitation; I was generally fairly quiet. I am still a quiet person, but I do speak up more in facilitation. It was a hard transition for me, and some days are better than others, but I am trying to speak up more.
My written communication has also been improving. This could be seen by the portions of our thesis that I wrote. There was definitely a difference in my writing from chapter one, two, and three. The easiest place to see evidence of the progression of my written communication is in documentation. My first attempts at documentation were not that good. However it was a first attempt. With practice I have been improving. I now use more medical terminology and the documentation in general is technically correct.
I have also progressed in my nonverbal communication. I have always seen an importance in nonverbal communication. Sometimes, I do things without even realizing it (ie: standing with my arms crossed). People can read into this nonverbal communication. It is one thing to know that it is important and not do anything about it, but it is another thing to take this information and make a change. I chose to do the latter. I'll admit, I constantly need to make an effort. Sometimes I'll revert back to my bad habits without thinking, but as soon as I think about it I stop. This is still something that I still plan on working at.
When I started school I often kept to myslef; I didn't have open communication channels. I have since learned how important communication is. Communication is important now, and I know how important it will be throughout my career.
My interpersonal skills are somewhat better than my communication skills. Since the first semester of PT school, I have been able to maintain appropriate eye contact, attempt to speak at the level of the listener, and my tone and word choice showed respect for the listener. These were all skills that came somewhat easy to me. Over the past year, my interpersonal skills have progressed also. I believe that I could work effectively in challenging situations and I can use technology to enhance communication and meet the needs of different audiences. I demonstrated these traits when I helped Ms. Blackinton with the career day.
Communication and interpersonal skills will be very important as we enter the workforce. We will be working with people every day. We will be meeting with patients, families, physicians, other health care professionals. It is important that we could communicate and interact with these individuals.