Emotionally difficult or painful conversations are very common in health care. Consequently, it is quite remarkable that health care training programs do not spend more time teaching future health professionals the kinds of emotional and relational skills that are often required in these kinds of patient-provider interactions. This presentation will discuss the architecture of the painful conversation by examining 1) its effect on the professional’s sense of self and especially his or her need to preserve self-esteem, 2) the critical role of feelings and emotions, and 3) the nature and value of empathy. The latter half of the presentation will consist of various strategic and practical recommendations so that emotionally challenging conversations might be conducted artfully. Additionally, content will be presented on numerous communication strategies that build rapport with patients, especially ones whose behavior is causing the health professional to feel disrespected, anxious, or angry. Topics will include the nature of the health professional’s labeling certain patients or family members as “difficult” or impossible; the nature of the health professional’s defenses when the professional is confronted with assaults to his or her self esteem; the need to understand the difficult patient rather than succumbing to the temptation to emotionally react; and numerous “what to say” responses, especially when the communication seems uncomfortable. This presentation does not aim at teaching psychotherapy, but rather simple communication techniques that build rapport.
Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:1. Relate the painful conversation to their construction of their professional “self”;
2. Explain how an ability to control one’s feelings can influence the success or failure of an emotionally difficult conversation;
3. List a number of empathic responses that are useful in conducting difficult conversations.
4. Explain how their psychological defenses might compromise their rapport with challenging patients;
5. Describe common characteristics of relationally difficult patients;
6. List empathic communication strategies that can be extremely helpful in trying situations
Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy Assistant, Occupational Therapy, and Occupational Therapy Assistants
PT CEU’s: Motivations Inc is an approved provider of Physical Therapy continuing education by these professional bodies: Texas Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association, ILDPR- Illinois Department of Professional Regulation Approved PT CE Sponsor, NY- New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions. Many state boards recognize these for pre-approval purposes. Contact us if you would like verification for your state.
OT CEU’s: Motivations, Inc. webinars are approved for AOTA CEU's Distance Learning: Interactive.
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