Topic 2: Communicating with people with life-limiting conditions

Providing support for people with life-limiting conditions requires you to understand the meaning of the condition and its effects on individuals. It's vital to identify and acknowledge an individual's concerns and sources of distress, and respond to these effectively.

Overview

Topic 2: Communicating with people with life-limiting conditions will help you develop your skills in communicating with people with life-limiting conditions and their families.

Aims & Objectives

After completing this topic, you should be able to:

  • recognise how your own values and beliefs about death and dying affect your personal responses and interactions with people with life-limiting conditions and their families
  • demonstrate the principles of effective communication when interacting with people with life-limiting conditions and their families
  • identify sources of psychological, social and spiritual support for people with life-limiting conditions and their families.

 Sessions

2.1 The experience of being diagnosed with a life-limiting condition

  • describe common psychological and existential challenges faced by people with life-limiting conditions
  • describe evidence based screening strategies to better understand sources of distress for people with life-limiting conditions.
  • Challenges faced
  • Case Study: Michelle’s story
  • Identifying sources of distress
    • Patient Dignity Inventory (PDI)
    • Distress Thermometer

2.2 Supportive communication

  • discuss supportive communication strategies used to identify the concerns of people with life-limiting conditions
  • identify evidence based strategies to respond to the needs and concerns of people with life-limiting conditions
  • demonstrate skills and knowledge by engaging in supportive communication roleplay.
  • Being present and listening
  • Expert opinion – difficult conversations
  • Communication principles
    • PREPARED model
  • Expert opinion - Communicating challenging news
  • Case Study - Michelle receives distressing news
  • Supporting the transition to palliative care
  • Case Study- Michelle’s illness progresses
  • Loss and grieving
  • Case Study- Michelle responding to losses

2.3 The spiritual dimension of care

  • identify elements of spiritual care when caring for someone with a life-limiting condition
  • develop an awareness of communication strategies that will  support the spiritual dimension of care for people with life-limiting conditions.
  • Understanding spiritual needs
  • Engaging in spiritual conversations
  • Case Study- Michelle discusses spirituality

2.4 Communication principles for culture-centred care

  • describe principles for communicating with people with a life-limiting condition from a culturally and linguistically diverse background
  • identify the role of professional interpreters in supporting effective communication in palliative care settings
  • identify resources to assist communication with a person from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.
  • Intercultural communication principles
  • Communicating with people where English is their second language
  • Working with interpreters
  • Case Study – Amy is admitted to an aged care facility
  • Respecting cultural diversity
  • Case Study – Amy’s cultural and individual care needs

2.5 Awareness of self-care

  • identify self-care strategies to manage the challenges that arise from interacting with people with life-limiting conditions.
  • Understanding the importance of self-care
  • Expert opinion – Self-care
  • Adopting self-care strategies
  • Reflective practice
  • Expert opinion – Self-care strategy and reflective practice 

The EN Toolkit eLearning Topics can be accessed through the red buttons on the EN Toolkit homepage.