Sharing Serious News
Some of the most challenging conversations that clinicians must have with patients and families involve sharing serious news. While sharing such news is oftentimes quite distressful for the patient and family, it can also be distressful for the clinician. Many clinicians do not feel competent or comfortable about delivering bad news. While it will never be easy to be the bearer of distressing news, clinicians can gain confidence and competence by mastering specific communication techniques for navigating these emotionally-charged interactions. Strong communication skills bolster the clinician-patient relationship and foster clinician-patient collaboration.
Sharing serious news is a challenging and essential part of healthcare delivery. The way that clinicians share such news has potentially lasting effects for patients and families. Done well, it can preserve and strengthen the clinician-patient relationship, foster collaboration, and promote healing and coping with illness, injury or death. Done poorly, it can cause unnecessary suffering. So, while you cannot change the actual news itself, you have control over the manner in which it is shared.
Abundant scientific evidence and anecdotal experience supports the idea that people retain strong memories of emotionally-charged events. Skilled, empathic clinicians can help patients and families focus their energies on the healthcare challenges at hand.
Clinicians who are effectively trained to share serious news, which includes attending to the emotional aspects of informing patients, are likely to feel a higher level of gratification in their work, and decreased feelings of stress and burnout. This module is based on the premise that the delivery of serious news such as sudden death is best conducted in person by a multidisciplinary team. Clinicians at every stage of their careers find value in brief modules and workshops focused on specific communication skills that can enhance their effectiveness and job satisfaction. Like all of IHC CME live and virtual workshops, Sharing Serious News provides an evidence-based and engaging educational experience for learners to learn and practice specific communication skills for immediate practice application.
Why a separate communication module on sharing serious news? We recognize that you or your colleagues may have been sharing serious news with patients for a long time. You may not like doing it, yet you understand it is part of your responsibilities in caring for patients. You may or may not have had formal training and often trust your instincts and experience on how to do it. Some of you have just begun your clinical work and want guidance.
If you have not had formal training, and have relied upon clinical experience, you are not alone. For those of you who have had formal training or have had years of experience, it is our hope that this workshop will reinforce and add to your learning. Although doctors are often the primary deliverer of bad news with patients, other healthcare professionals such as nurses and social workers can contribute to how the discussion is perceived by the recipients of the news (patient and/or family).
There are estimates that these “serious news” discussions can occur more than 20,000 times during the course of an oncologist’s career. This underscores the importance of this communication competency and use of a model for understanding the process involved and approaching it as a stepwise procedure, applying well-established principles of communication and counseling. Learners will be introduced to a 6-step evidence based communication protocol from the work of Robert Buckman, MD. He used the acronym SPIKES to remember the 6 steps.
As with all IHC communication workshops, a SSN annotated bibliography is accessible on our website. We encourage you to use the bibliography after the module as a resource for further professional development on patient-centered communication.
Cost: $149.00 per person
- Duration 1/2 Day
- Accreditation Approved for CE
- Available To All Healthcare Professionals
- Course InformationDownload PDF
- Identify the 6 step SPIKES model for sharing serious news
- Describe at least 2 elements for preparing the Setting for sharing serious news
- Identify and respond to at least two 2 empathic opportunities
Sharing Serious News module is available in this one-hour CME and self-paced virtual format and also available in a 3 hour live virtual or in person format. The latter version is fast-paced and interactive, with a strong focus on opportunities to practice skills and techniques in a safe and structured environment. More than two-thirds of the 3 hour module is interactive, combining individual and small group exercises to analyze video enactments of actual cases and role play to apply newly leaned skills to contextually relevant cases.
Faculty members who teach IHC’s SSN modules have completed a comprehensive faculty development program. The faculty program includes individualized coaching conducted by IHC Senior Trainers to prepare faculty to teach and facilitate the workshop, deepen their own communication skills, and to explore strategies to support relationship-building and communication skills at their home institutions.
The Institute for Healthcare Communication is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians. IHC takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CE/CME activity. Sharing Serious News is designated by the Institute for Healthcare Communication as a continuing medical education activity meeting the criteria for up to three hours in Category 1 of the Physician’s Recognition Award of the American Medical Association.
Tuition is $149.00 per person
These Modules are conducted in Partnership with Karen Zupko & Associates.