Increasing communication and self-care skills for front line staff in cancer care
Intended for healthcare professionals
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Increasing communication and self-care skills for front line staff in cancer care

Sari Harenwall Clinical psychologist, Maggie’s Newcastle, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Joanne McVey Consultant clinical psychologist, Department of Psychological Medicine, York Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Sari Harenwall and Joanne McVey discuss a workshop to help level one staff conduct difficult conversations with patients and relatives

The aim of this project was to conduct a needs assessment of communicating in difficult situations in level one staff working in cancer care and to implement and evaluate a communication skills workshop based on identified needs.

Questionnaire data measuring confidence and coping in dealing with difficult situations were collected before and after the communication workshop, which involved eight level one staff such as healthcare assistants and receptionists. As a result of the small sample size, data were analysed using descriptive statistics and frequency data.

The results suggested that subjective confidence and coping were increased in the two-hour workshop with more convincing results for confidence.

Given its limitations the authors are tentatively optimistic about the evaluation’s initial results. Continued training and evaluation in this area are imperative in order to improve services as well as staff and patient wellbeing.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 14, 7, 28-33. doi: 10.7748/cnp.14.7.28.e1192


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 22 February 2015

Accepted: 06 July 2015

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