Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Interprofessional survey results on perception and knowledge of communication skills in Germany

Introduction

Communication competencies are needed and an indispensable skill for veterinarians and veterinary assistance staff. Interprofessional education programs are currently rare for all health professions and have received little attention in veterinary education.

Methods

An online survey to investigate the current state of knowledge and perceptions regarding communications training was designed and distributed among veterinary students, trainees for veterinary assistants including vet nurses and animal keeper trainees in Germany.

Results

In total, 467 completed surveys were analysed (veterinary students (n=294), trainees for veterinary assistants (n=111), animal keeper trainees (n=62)). The findings of this survey confirm that respondents perceive effective communication skills as highly important for their everyday professional life (98.07 %). Regardless of the profession, most participants (89.29 %) rate their own communication as (very) good. However, 88.44 % of participants feel that their communication skills need to be improved and more than half (59.31 %) admit having difficulties communicating effectively in their daily work. Significantly less animal keeper trainees (19.35 %) received communication training than veterinary students (51.36 %) and trainees for veterinary assistants (40.54 %) (chi2 < 0.0001). In addition, 62.74 % of participants are not sufficiently informed about the training content of their future colleagues from other professional groups

Discussion

In general, a great interest of students and trainees in acquiring communication skills and in interprofessional education was identified. The findings suggest that communication training and interprofessional knowledge should be enhanced in the undergraduate curriculum of veterinary medicine in Germany.

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