ACT now to enhance your serious-illness conversation skills

August 15, 2017

Yvonne Corbeil headshotAttendees at the upcoming Palliative Care, Pain Management and Whole Person Care Symposium can participate in the advanced communication training (ACT) course offered through the Providence Institute for Human Caring.

ACT teaches caregivers to initiate and develop meaningful goals-of-care conversations with people with serious illness and their families, said Yvonne Corbeil, director of program development and education for the institute.

For more than two years, she has overseen ACT, which has trained more than 1,000 Providence St. Joseph Health clinicians and caregivers.

WPC Symposium infobox

ACT is a 2.5-hour training program that fills a significant gap for those who seek to improve communication with patients with serious illness and their families, and to implement the Serious Illness Conversation Guide (SICG) as a tool to facilitate goals-of-care conversations.

Derived from evidence-based best practices by palliative care specialists Drs. Rachelle Bernacki and Susan Block and developed in conjunction with noted author and surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, the SICG is an advanced communication technique that supports clinicians and caregivers in generating a personalized care plan for patients.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of ACT, participants are able to:

  1. Facilitate alignment of patient goals with the care they receive;
  2. Compassionately handle patient and family emotional responses to such discussions;
  3. Enhance personal effectiveness and comfort in conducting and documenting discussions around goals of care in serious illness;
  4. Utilize an evidence-based, structured approach to goals-of-care conversations with patients and their families;
  5. Document more effective discussions around goals of care in serious illness; acknowledge the cross-cultural differences with regard to perceiving, experiencing and accepting serious illness.