A compassionate pause

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Author(s)
Links, Matthew
Ayling, Terry
Doran, Joanne
Braganza, Shahina
Martin, Peter
Clayton, Josephine
Hiremagalur, Balaji
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2020
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Abstract

Professional health communication is full of challenging, difficult conversations: difficult news, or families or colleagues in difficulty - who themselves become labelled as difficult. Before these conversations, transitioning from a busy clinical environment, clinicians may attempt to leave other concerns behind them by taking a deep breath and creating a space in which to … pause. The literature around these conversations focuses on intelligent execution: skills, strategies, frameworks and acronyms to facilitate training in communication skills [[1], [2], [3]]. Empathy and responding to emotions are recognised as important parts of these frameworks, which can be helpful, but alone they are not enough to ensure a human and compassionate connection. Excellence in communication requires high and focused intention and sincere effort. The challenge, with these conversations, is that they are emotionally charged. We need to reframe them from difficult conversations with another to that of an empathic connection in our common humanity, from which a wise, compassionate response is exercised.

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Patient Education and Counseling

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This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.

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Subject

Biomedical and clinical sciences

Psychology

Communication

Compassion

Mindfulness

Silence

Space

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Citation

Links, M; Ayling, T; Doran, J; Braganza, S; Martin, P; Clayton, J; Hiremagalur, B, A compassionate pause., Patient Education and Counseling, 2020

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