Clinical Communication Skills

Paperback | September 5, 2009

EditorPeter Washer

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Clinical communication has been formally taught to medical students in the first few years of their course for several years, but it is only in relatively recent times that clinical communication has become routinely assessed. Increasingly, students recognise the fact that their 'general'communication skills do not automatically translate into effective clinical communication. This textbook reflects the shifts described above and presents the medical student with a compelling resource in a field which has come of age. Clinical Communication Skills is designed to be the first textbook of choice for lecturers and students alike, for early use in the medical degree. Thebook recognises that this subject is often taught in parallel with Clinical Skills, and makes appropriate links. The book is unapologetically practical in its remit - it aims to equip students to deal with all kinds of clinical encounters, and to optimise the ways in which they communicate with patients and colleagues. Coverage features written communication, and also includes presenting patients tocolleagues. Importantly, the book draws on patient and service-user involvement as well as a range of professional views. Readers can listen to these original interviews which are available as podcasts on the book's Online Resource Centre. Extracts from these interviews are woven into the text ofthe book, and are designed in a second colour for ease of reference. Similarly, sample conversational script is printed in colour so that students can easily scan for examples of positive communication. However, a pragmatic approach is taken; coverage of what to do when things go wrong is alsoprovided. Clinical Communication Skills assumes no prior knowledge, but the communication challenges which the book addresses do advance throughout the chapters. The book starts with the basics of why clinical communication is taught, the process of the medical interview, and taking a medical history. Themiddle section of the book covers how to talk with other professionals, to a diverse range of patients, to children and young people, and to people with mental health problems. The final section of the book covers information-giving skills which have become more prominent across medicine, includingmanaging uncertainty, explaining risk, patient safety, dealing with complaints and breaking bad news. The material is written to apply to a range of settings, not limiting itself to general practice. The advice provided in the book is informed by, and acknowledges key theories and frameworks. Indeed, the Editor completed a thorough literature review to underpin the writing of the book, and links to much of this research are provided on the book's online resource centre. In terms ofcomprehensiveness, this text spans the undergraduate clinical communication curriculum and is benchmarked against several international statements on doctor-patient communication, including the UK consensus statement on the content of communication curricula in undergraduate medical communication(von Fragstein et al, 2008). Online Resource Centre: * 11 podcasts of interviews relaying experiences of clinical communication, supported by full transcripts of the interviews. Each podcast is designed to be c. 5 minutes long, for ease of teaching and learning. All interviewees are real people (not simulated patients or actors). Intervieweesinclude a variety of patients, including children, and an experienced General Practitioner. The audio content is reprised in the book, in the form of selected extracts which illustrate points within individual chapters. Full transcripts of each interview are also hosted on line to facilitatecloser study of the material. * Podcast introduction to the book from the Editor. * Active web links to c. 200 articles on the subject of clinical communication, accompanied by selected PubMed references. This provides a gateway to the body of literature on the subject, and is ordered by chapter for ease of reference. * Links to charities, government and non-government organisations who provide information on communication skills

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From the Publisher

Clinical communication has been formally taught to medical students in the first few years of their course for several years, but it is only in relatively recent times that clinical communication has become routinely assessed. Increasingly, students recognise the fact that their 'general'communication skills do not automatically trans...

Dr Peter Washer teaches clinical communication at Imperial College London. He has degrees in philosophy, in medical ethics and law and in education. His PhD was awarded by University College London, where he was formerly a member of the Clinical Communication Skills Unit. He has taught medical ethics, education and communication sk...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pagesPublished:September 5, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199550468

ISBN - 13:9780199550463

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Peter Washer: Introduction1. Peter Washer: Why learn communication skills?1.1. Why do we need to learn about clinical communication?1.2. How good are doctors at talking with patients?1.3. The benefits of good communication for doctors1.4. The benefits of good communication for patients2. Peter Washer: The structure and process of the medical interview2.1. Introducing yourself and gaining consent2.2. Questioning styles2.3. Empathy and how to demonstrate it2.4. Structuring, checking understanding and ending the interview3. Peter Washer: How to take a medical history3.1. The content of a medical history3.2. Ways to phrase the questions in non-medical language3.3. Recognising and responding to cues4. Peter Washer: Writing about patients4.1. Best practice in written medical communication4.2. How to write up a medical history4.3. Other forms of medical communication5. Katherine Woolf, Jayne Kavanagh and Melissa Gardner: Giving presentations5.1. General presentation tips5.2. How to deal with presentation anxiety5.3. Giving case presentations6. Peter Washer: Talking with other health professionals and patients' families6.1. Learning from the multidisciplinary team6.2. Working as part of a multidisciplinary team6.3. Giving and receiving feedback6.4. Talking with patients' families7. Peter Washer: Talking with disabled people7.1. Different models of disability7.2. Talking with people with disorders of speech and language7.3. Talking with people with sensory impairments7.4. Talking with people with learning disabilities8. Peter Washer: Talking with people from other cultures8.1. Your own cultural background8.2. The effects of culture on clinical communication8.3. Strategies for dealing with prejudice and racism8.4. Patients who have English as an additional language9. Peter Washer: Talking about sex and sexuality9.1. When might we need to talk about sex and sexuality?9.2. Doctors' attitudes to sex and sexuality9.3. Talking with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients9.4. When you might need to talk about sex in more detail10. Caroline Fertleman and Peter Washer: Talking with children and young people10.1. Talking with parents10.2. Talking with pre-school-age children10.3. Talking with school-age children10.4. Talking with young people11. Simon Michaelson and Peter Washer: Talking with people with mental health problems11.1. Talking with people with mental health problems11.2. How to take a systematic psychiatric history11.3. How to assess someone's mental state11.4. Talking with alcohol and drug users12. Peter Washer: Giving information and managing uncertainty12.1. How to explain medical information12.2. What to say when you don't know the answer12.3. Different types of medical uncertainties12.4. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)13. Peter Washer: Talking about mistakes and dealing with complaints13.1. The prevalence of medical errors and accidents (adverse events)13.2. Promoting patient safety13.3. Why patients and relatives get angry13.4. Complaints and litigation14. Peter Washer: Shared decision-making and communicating risk14.1. Shared decision-making14.2. Ethics and risk communication14.3. Tools for facilitating shared decision-making15. Judith Cave: Breaking bad news15.1. How to tell patients bad news15.2. Coping strategies to deal with the aftermath when another professional has broken bad news15.3. Dealing with your own emotionsPeter Washer: Appendix: How to do well in communication skills OSCEs

Editorial Reviews

"This invaluable text concisely demonstrates how imperative effective communications skills are and most importantly, manages to expertly outline how clinicians can best improve these skills for the benefit of their everyday practice" --Colin Neil , GP and part-time postgraduate MSc student, University of Warwick