“Difficult” Clinician-Patient Relationships
“Difficult” relationships in healthcare settings can have critical impacts on patients’ and clinicians’ perceptions and satisfaction, with spillover effects throughout an organization. Everyone experiences some interactions as “difficult”, and a host of interpersonal and situational factors can contribute to the perception of difficulty. Although the professional literature has historically supported the notion of objectively “difficult patients”, researchers and educators have come to understand that it is the relationship or the interaction that contributes to the difficulty. When difficult interactions persist, clinicians and patients may both feel frustrated and victimized. Difficult interactions significantly contribute to clinician burnout.
Hospitals, medical practices and HMOs are increasingly aware of the importance of helping clinicians avoid burnout. IHC’s “Difficult” Clinician-Patient Relationships (DCPR) workshops give clinicians enhanced communication skills to get difficult interactions back on track and to return interactions to a more productive mode. The workshop challenges clinicians to examine the patterns of interactions with patients that cause them the greatest difficulty and to move away from the construct that there is an objective “difficult patient.” Through increased self-awareness and evidence-based skill practice during the workshop, clinicians are more likely to act effectively, leading to reduced frustration and increased satisfaction for themselves and their patients. IHC’s DCPR faculty development course provides organizations with an effective and cost-effective way to enhance their professional development capacity and bring evidence-based training to large numbers of clinicians.
This intensive 2.5-day course is designed for individuals who will teach DCPR workshops. Participants may seek certification as IHC faculty members. Only certified IHC faculty members may teach the copyrighted DCPR curriculum.
If you are interested, please pre-register and we will send you information about our upcoming course schedule.
- Duration 2.5 Days
- Accreditation Approved for CE
- Available To Clinicians
- Course InformationDownload PDF
The “Difficult” Clinician-Patient Relationships (DCPR) workshop is targeted toward clinicians in all specialties and at all stages of their careers. The DCPR faculty development course is for clinician leaders and educators involved in professional development.
Faculty development courses can accommodate 6-30 participants to ensure effective experiential learning in small and large groups.
The “Difficult” Clinician-Patient Relationships (DCPR) faculty development course provides foundational training for learners returning to their institution to teach IHC’s DCPR workshop to colleagues and staff. Course content is focused on learning specific workshop content, adult learning theory, facilitation techniques and coaching and feedback skills for small learning group settings. Learners practice presenting portions of the DCPR workshop for their peers, with peer and expert faculty feedback. In addition, learners practice communication skills in contextually relevant patient simulations in small group settings.
Two conceptual models are introduced in the “Difficult” Clinician-Patient Relationships (DCPR) workshop to frame the problems of difficult relationships and the possibilities for repair. The first examines some of the factors that lead clinicians to apply the label “difficult” to a situation. The second model outlines communication strategies that clinicians can use to respond to situations they experience as difficult or challenging and is embodied in the “ADOBE” acronym, below. Clinicians can experience fewer “difficult” relationships using the following skills:
A: Be Aware and Acknowledge your own thoughts or feelings that generate impulses to behave in a certain way.
D: Discover meaning. The patient may be experiencing something very different than you and only through asking will you find out.
O: Opportunity for compassion. Expressions of empathy and understanding can deepen the relationship and provide a pathway for more productive interactions.
B: Boundaries. The boundaries you set, both verbally and nonverbally, implicitly and explicitly, tell your patients what you consider to be acceptable and unacceptable.
E: Extend the system. Resources outside the practice can help to heal a problematic relationship.
By the end of the “Difficult” Clinician-Patient Relationships (DCPR) faculty development course, learners will:
- Gain background knowledge and facilitation skills required to conduct the “Difficult” Clinician-Patient Relationships (DCPR) workshop at their institution;
- Develop improved clinical communication skills and the ability to role model those skills through simulated patient sessions;
- Identify and practice a coaching and feedback model for use with learners and colleagues; and
- Develop a plan for integrating IHC workshop materials and training to meet the professional development and CE needs at their institution.
The “Difficult” Clinician-Patient Relationships faculty development course is fast-paced and interactive. It is conducted over three consecutive days at a host organization, with 6 to 30 learners. The format for the session combines brief presentations, videotaped case studies with interactive exercises, active learning techniques and discussions. Learners are encouraged to develop and practice communication strategies with expert and peer feedback. Exercises are graduated and structured to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment.
The materials for the workshop include a faculty manual with slide scripts, facilitation guides, teaching strategies and tools; the workshop workbook with the text of the slides and exercises; training video vignettes; an annotated bibliography and a carrying case.
Upon completion of the 2.5-day faculty development course, learners will be eligible for certification as IHC faculty. An IHC Master Trainer will be scheduled separately to coach, observe and provide feedback for the learner’s workshop presentation. Based on the observer’s evaluation, the new faculty member(s) will receive certification to deliver the DCPR workshop, or will be provided with feedback regarding a plan to improve workshop delivery performance to meet the Institute standards for certification in the future.
The Institute for Healthcare Communication (IHC) takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME /CE activity. IHC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to sponsor continuing medical education for clinicians. This workshop is designated by IHC as a continuing medical education activity meeting the criteria for up to 19.5 hours in Category 1 of the Physician’s Recognition Award of the American Medical Association.
IHC is accredited by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) to provide prescribed credit for continuing medical education programs. This activity has been reviewed and is acceptable for up 19.5 prescribed credit hours by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
IHC also maintains a co-provider relationship with the University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing, accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing nursing education (CNE).