Communication Strategies in Patient Care

Published Erin Turner on Mon, 06/27/2022 - 11:34

Communication Strategies in Patient Care

Effective communication can make all the difference to a person's experience. Sometimes it is the simplest things – the right word of reassurance at the right time, or having a partner actively included in a care conversation can be highly effective ways to build and enhance the doctor-patient therapeutic relationship. Many clinicians do this incredibly well but there is always room for improvement.

This course is the brainchild of a multidisciplinary team from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Western Health, Bendigo Health and the University of Melbourne. Former and current patients men and women, young and old, from a range of backgrounds, who are passionate about sharing their experiences to improve things for others have generously given their time to the project.  

Course co-creator, Associate Professor Dr David Kok says by practising whenever and wherever they want, clinicians and health professionals will refine their skills to become better and more comfortable with communicating, especially in challenging situations. 

Aim: Experts from the VCCC Alliance have designed a new online education program for clinical staff to practise and refine their patient communication skills.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Explore the positive impact effective communication can have on the quality of care provided to people with cancer and their families.

  • Explore effective ways to build and enhance the doctor-patient therapeutic relationship.

Audience: clinical staff, especially those working in supportive and palliative care, chronic pain management, and end-of-life care, as well as general practice, nursing and allied health.

Level: Novice 


The project was developed by:

  • Associate Professor David Kok – Radiation Oncologist, Director of Training, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and VCCC Convenor, Master of Cancer Sciences

  • Ms Justine Diggens – Senior Clinical Psychologist, Peter Mac

  • Dr Daniel Sapkaroski – Radiotherapist and Clinical Educator, Peter Mac

  • Dr Sathana Dushyanthen – Medical Educator, University of Melbourne and VCCC

Project sponsors:

  • Associate Professor Jennifer Weil – Deputy Director Palliative Care Medicine, Palliative Medicine Physician and Palliative Care Clinical Trials Lead, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

  • Dr Alex Clinch, Peter Mac Palliative Care Consultant, Deputy Director Parkville Integrated Palliative Care Service - The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Course Details

Course type
3 hrs
Curriculum Area
Prevention, screening and diagnostics
Clinical care

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