The IPC skills training has changed my professional as well as personal communication.
– Dr. Shazia Sheikh
For more than a decade, Dr. Shazia Sheikh has served the rural areas of the Matiari district in southern Pakistan. Despite her hard work, maternal and child health outcomes remained poor, a source of frustration for the doctor.
Unsatisfied with the situation, Dr. Shazia set out to improve her skills. She was one of roughly 7,800 providers in Pakistan who were trained in interpersonal communication skills by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs-led Health Communication Component. The training tackled communication between providers and their patients, a process of exchanging information, feelings and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages. Poor communication between providers and patients can be a contributing factor to negative health outcomes.
Dr Shazia’s lessons focused on absorbing the three steps of HCC’s interpersonal communication (IPC) toolkit: listening to the client, joint problem-solving with the client and encouraging the client to take appropriate action to improve her health.
Within a few days of incorporating these techniques in her clinical practice, she noticed a change in the level of trust and gratitude in her patients. Now, women of the community view her consultation as an outlet where they can share their concerns and receive positive responses.
“The IPC skills training has changed my professional as well as personal communication,” she says. “Now, my patients are satisfied more than ever and that gives me a sense of being on the right track to bring a positive change in the lives of women and children I serve and I see that eventually it will bring a change in the health indicators of” the province.