Today our blog welcomes a special guest! Check out why Taylene wants her clinicians to ask “What’s important to you?” Then tell us your favorite tip for eliciting values @vitaltalk.
Communication can be a little slippery to explain--and we've all described it, unhelpfully, as 'just what I do." Caroline Hurd MD (a terrific physician, educator, and VitalTalk Associate) explains why learning to see individual skills is so powerful.
Our new app takes a fresh approach: think of it as a stack of flashcards with handy phrases, sorted by topic. You can use it as a handy pocket reference. But the app does also does something unique: it sends you a daily notification about a new skill to try! Swipe on the daily notification to see that day's tip, and then tap on the card to get a link to the reference. It's a sleek way to build your communication superpowers.
A VitalTalk extra from the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2016 meeting in Chicago: two must-read articles--an editorial to send your oncology friends in JAMA, & one by a VitalTalk alum in the New York Times (Tim Gilligan writes about what to ask patients about prognosis) followed by a tip about how to know when you shouldn't ask another question.
How can you stay present in a challenging encounter? It's not a matter of forcing yourself--in fact, what helps is quite different: you step back for a moment, regain your footing, and step back in.
Understanding just 3 elements of family functioning can enable you to be much more effective in the setup and followup to a complex family conference. You'll need to be fluent in the communication skills for serious illness that we've discussed earlier--but these 3 elements open up new tools. For those of you who have ever wondered about how to think about a complex family (i.e. all of us!).
When you are with a patient whose emotions are running high, acknowledging their emotion by naming it can help that person move forward in the conversation. But there are pitfalls with naming too - see what we recommend to make your NURSE statements more effective!
Trying for the perfect phrase? Going for perfect sometimes has a paradoxical effect--try tinkering instead! Then, track the effects of your communication experiments. And if you're in Chicago at #hpm16, say hello!