When preparing for difficult conversations, it is crucial to understand the three main reasons why we consider them challenging. First, these kinds of interactions can spark emotions in our patients and ourselves. Not knowing how to manage these emotions properly and compassionately can be stressful. The second reason is time. As busy clinicians, not knowing how much of our time these conversations will take can make us feel pressured. The third reason is that they may involve some friction or disagreement between patient and provider. This lesson will teach you how to anticipate potential challenges and best prepare for difficult conversations.
There are specific and definable skills that can help you communicate with your patients. Every clinician should be able to build trust, adapt their communication to patients of different backgrounds, and structure difficult conversations. Mastering these skills will make you a better clinician.