Having good communication skills is essential for healthcare providers to establish good healthcare provider - patient relationships. Good patient-healthcare provider communication has better health outcomes, high compliance to therapeutic regimes, higher patient and healthcare provider satisfaction and a decrease in malpractice risk. Sadly, medical colleges tend to emphasise much on the biomedical sciences at the expense of communication skills subjects. This study explored communication curriculum that is offered to nursing students at Mzuzu University to establish whether the courses prepare students to address critical communication skills needed by nurses in practice. Self-administered questionnaires (N=280) were issued to healthcare providers, student nurses and patients. Analysis was done using SPSS Version 20 and Chi-Square tests were carried out. Findings support literature suggesting that communication skills are important and that some healthcare providers have problems when communicating with their clients.
Key words: Patient, healthcare provider, communication skills, communication problems, treatment.
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