Communicating with Seriously Ill Patients

Course Request

Learning Objectives

  • Communicating strategically
  • Controlling emotions
  • Avoiding false hope

Course Description

Clinicians who care for patients with advanced illnesses face daunting communication challenges. This course will provide clinicians with strategies for:

  • Engaging in difficult conversations through active listening
  • Handling emotions
  • Avoiding false hope
  • Remaining mindful of the patient experience

Did you know…

  • Patients commonly complain that physicians do not listen to them
  • One study found that patients only recalled 40% of the information they were given, and almost half of what they thought they remembered was incorrect
  • Another study found that physicians interrupted patients’ initial statements 77% of the time — the average time to interruption was just 18 seconds
  • The right antibiotic for the right patient at the right time

Course at a Glance

Target Audience: Clinicians

Time to Complete: 30 Minutes

Contributor: SynAptiv



Author Information

The Colorado Foundation for Medical Care was founded in 1970 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) healthcare quality improvement organization. It currently does business as (DBA) SynAptiv. SynAptiv continues to focus on continuous quality improvement, but now works toward its charitable mission in new ways. We are a global healthcare learning institute, offering a variety of educational tools, trainings, certifications, and learning improvement resources for multiple professional settings.