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1 - Taking Your Skills to the Next Level

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

Discussing serious news can be difficult and a skilled clinician can improve their patient’s care and feeling of being cared for. Communication is central to the effective medical practice, and the data shows that clinicians can learn to improve their skills. This book will focus on the broad domains of communication skills and cognitive roadmaps. Through personal reflection as well as honing communication skills and using roadmaps, clinicians can cultivate internal psychological capacities that lead to more skillful and authentic conversations. Our basic principles at VitalTalk are to start with the patient’s agenda, track emotional and cognitive data, stay at the patient’s pace, express empathy explicitly, discuss what can be done before the things that can’t, cover big picture goals before specific interventions, pay true attention, and ask for the patient’s take away. In addition to reading about serious illness communication, these skills are best learned through observation, practice, and feedback.

Type
Chapter
Information
Navigating Communication with Seriously Ill Patients
Balancing Honesty with Empathy and Hope
, pp. 1 - 14
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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References

Further Reading

Gottlieb, L., Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, 2019.Google Scholar

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