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14 - Cultivating Your Skills

Bring Your Full Self to the Patient

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2024

Robert M. Arnold
Affiliation:
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh
Anthony L. Back
Affiliation:
University of Washington Medical Center
Elise C. Carey
Affiliation:
Mayo Clinic, Minnesota
James A. Tulsky
Affiliation:
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston
Gordon J. Wood
Affiliation:
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago
Holly B. Yang
Affiliation:
Scripps Health, San Diego, California
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Summary

To hone your skills, one needs to observe what “good” looks like, practice, and receive feedback. We recommend setting a communication skills goal before the encounter, and then debriefing how it went, celebrating what you did well, and considering what to do differently next time, as well as what you learned in the process. Practicing skills in conversation roadmaps is incomplete without building of our internal capacities, like curiosity and emotional awareness, which help us foster more authentic connection. Learning new skills is not linear. Be kind to yourself when you’re having a bad day or feeling burnt out. Better communication skills can help they leads to more engaged clinical encounters which provide positive feedback making patient care more rewarding. Also, the roadmaps in this book are a kind of scaffold for learning, intended to provide support until you get your foundation settled. After a while, you may no longer need them. True expertise requires building both skills and capacities, practicing regularly, and caring for oneself in the process.

Type
Chapter
Information
Navigating Communication with Seriously Ill Patients
Balancing Honesty with Empathy and Hope
, pp. 216 - 227
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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References

Further Reading

Balint, M., The Doctor, His Patient, and the Illness. Churchill Livingstone, New York, 2000.Google Scholar
Bransford, J., Brown, A. L., and Cocking, R. R., eds., How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 2000.Google Scholar
Childers, J. W., Arnold, R. M., and Carey, E. C., Striving and thriving: Challenges and opportunities for clinician emotional well-being. In Schwartz, R., Hall, J. A., and Osterberg, L.G., eds., Emotion in the Clinical Encounter. McGraw Hill, New York City, 2021.Google Scholar
Goleman, D., Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships. Bantam Books, New York, 2007.Google Scholar
Groopman, J., The Measure of Our Days: A Spiritual Exploration of Illness. London, Penguin, 1998.Google Scholar
Hunter, K., Doctors’ Stories: The Narrative Structure of Medical Knowledge. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1993.Google Scholar
Leiter, M. P. and Maslach, C., Banishing Burnout: Six Strategies for Improving Your Relationship with Work. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2005.Google Scholar
Platt, F. W. and Gordon, G. H., Field Guide to the Difficult Patient Interview. Field Guide Series. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2004.Google Scholar
Silverman, J., Kurtz, S. M., and Draper, J., Skills for Communicating with Patients. Abingdon, Radcliffe Publishing, 2004.Google Scholar

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