“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 train-the-trainer faculty 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.
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 train-the-trainer faculty course is for clinician leaders and educators involved in professional development who will teach DCPR workshops.
Faculty development courses can accommodate 6-30 participants to ensure effective experiential learning in small and large groups.
The “Difficult” Clinician-Patient Relationships (DCPR) train-the-trainer faculty 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) train-the-trainer faculty 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 train-the-trainer faculty 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.
Throughout the DCPR train-the-trainer faculty course, IHC Senior Trainers and small group facilitators provide feedback to learners and assess their readiness to conduct DCPR workshops. In the event that additional support and coaching is needed prior to teaching a DCPR workshop, IHC Senior Trainers are available to provide such personalized support and guidance. Individualized support is scheduled separately and subject to additional fees.
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 provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Institute for Healthcare Communication designates the 3.5-day “Difficult” Clinician-Patient Relationships (DCPR) train-the-trainer faculty course for a maximum of 19.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.
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).
Continuing education (CE) credit may be available to non-physician participants. IHC will provide a certificate of completion, which can be submitted to learners’ respective accrediting organizations. IHC is pleased to provide any necessary documentation to help learners gain CE credits for completion of this activity.