Childrens Mercy Kansas City

Communication in Palliative Care: Words Matter

December 7, 201510 min
Clinicians involved in palliative care are inclined to be sensitive to the humanistic aspects clinical practice – foremost among them being good communication. For both children and their families choosing the time, manner, environment and context into which communication about care that is oriented towards optimizing the quality of their days throughout a disease trajectory is extremely important. Dr. Carter is here to discuss the verbal and non-verbal communication that clinicians should be aware, as well as strategies around active listening, reflection and an effort to engage in relational communication with an allowance for timely silence, acknowledgment of suffering and emotional validation. Finally, the importance of key words – those that may be easily taken out of context, or heard differently than intended – will be addressed.

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