Background Within the last decade, numerous white papers have been published to improve care for palliative care patients. The principle of effective communication is at the heart of clinical practice and professional codes. Often communication training programmes are expensive, elitist or inaccessible. It is a challenge to develop a workforce in the current climate and demands of biological and sociological developments.
The more complex healthcare becomes, the more important it becomes to keep it simple.
Aim To improve the confidence and competence of the workforce who will communicate with palliative care patients.
Approach Design & delivery of innovative, accessible, multi-professional education. The two day programme includes pre and post training interviews in order to provide meaningful, individual assessment and feedback. The teaching styles are both negotiated and didactic. The programme provides an opportunity for professionals to observe and participate in scenarios which demonstrate key and difficult issues involved in communication. The teaching team consists of ‘Jobbing experts’ who have undergone advanced communication skills training, specialist clinicians who share the many and various scripts that lie in their memories. Formative assessments include a reflective essay, which fits well with portfolio learning/evidence for all professionals including General practitioners.
Outcomes The evaluations have been excellent from all professionals in all clinical arenas. Funding has been secured for further education and collaboration in education is essential to future delivery. The practical element of ensuring information follows the patient, and how to start, support and close conversations were particularly appreciated.
Application to hospice practice Exciting innovative education can embrace key contemporary issues and develop and inspire a workforce Clinical education in the 21st Century must be in partnership and make the complex simple. Negotiated learning by ‘telling the story’ is both authentic and inspirational. Our stories are worthwhile, inspiring future practitioners – crucial.
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