New Program Helps Doctors Help Patients!
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Receiving a diagnosis is hard but giving it could be just as hard. Kidney specialists don’t routinely receive formal education on how to talk with patients about end-of-life and other serious issues. But a new workshop is helping them prepare to deliver bad news, express empathy, and discuss treatment.
Called NephroTalk, the workshop modeled after a national oncology workshop called OncoTalk, was designed by Jane Schell, M.D., and her colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh.
It’s comprised of educational sessions on delivering bad news and defining goals of care when a patient is not doing well. It also involves small group sessions with standardized patients. The skills that are taught and practiced include assessing patient understanding before giving news, recognizing and responding to patients' emotional concerns, and eliciting patients' goals and end-of-life preferences.
"Communication is central to what we do as physicians. Our goal is for NephroTalk to serve as a model curriculum for enhancing communication education within nephrology training," Dr. Schell was quoted as saying.
The workshop was offered to 22 nephrology fellows at Duke University and the University of Pittsburg. Surveys showed the average level of perceived preparedness significantly increased for all skills, including delivering bad news, expressing empathy, and discussing dialysis initiation and withdrawal.
All respondents reported that they would recommend this training to other fellows and 95 percent said the workshop should be required.
Source: American Society of Nephrology (CJASN)