Communication for the Intensive Care Specialist

- planning for effective, efficient and compassionate interactions 




comfinal2.jpgCommunication skills are an essential skill for all doctors, particularly those working in Intensive Care where emotions often run high and ethical issues are particularly complex.

In the past the teaching of communication skills has often been limited to watching more experienced doctors colleagues speaking to families. Sometimes this role model has been outstanding - but not always, and poor communicators will not be able to convey the necessary skills and techniques to their junior colleagues. This leaves a serious gap in training.

Where formal teaching has been offered in the past this has often been limited to techniques for communication of bad news or the steps required to obtain consent for organ donation. Specific negotiation and mediation skills, such as those needed to resolve serious issues and disagreements have rarely been taught.

‘Communication for the Intensive Care Specialist’ seeks to outline important communication skills and to explain the major ethical principles which underpin ICU practice. Information is presented in a concise manner based on ICU scenarios (some of which have featured in previous JFICM final examinations).

Since it is important to anticipate and to be prepared for the issues which might arise, a synopsis of the important points in each scenario is also presented. To assist candidates some suggestions for things that they might say areincluded, along with examples of words or phrases that should not be expressed.

While this book is specifically designed to assist JFICM trainees the principles will be helpful  to all junior doctors and the scenarios will resonate with any doctor working in daily clinical practice.

Discount Price for Internet Orders A$ 32.00  (RRP A$38.40)  ISBN 978955908606

rom the Forward to 'Communication for the Intensive Care Specialist'
Communication is one of the most important skills for an Intensive Care Specialist. This may surprise many readers but, given the critical illness of the patient along with a high chance of death or prolonged emotion-sapping illness in ICU, it can be seen that communication will be vital to support the patient,
family and other surrogates.
In 1998 a Communication Station was added to the Final Fellowship Examination of the Faculty of Intensive Care. The aim was to not only assess the communication skills of the candidates but also to stimulate interest of Trainers and drive learning of the Trainees. Observing performance of candidates in the communication station of the examination has highlighted the variability in the
skills of Trainees.
Today it is expected that a Postgraduate College will not only examine skills but will actively teach and provide tools for continuous learning. In addressing this ‘Communication for the Intensive Care Specialist’ will be a useful tool for Trainees and Trainers alike. It has a gold mine of Case Scenarios, information and analyses.
Richard Lee
Past Dean
Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine

Extract from the Book review in CCR:
Communication for the ICU Specialist ... is an easy-to-read, useful resource book that should be mandatory reading for all advanced trainees in intensive care medicine.
I strongly encourage every intensive care unit to obtain at least one copy of this remarkable book and CD combination, and to use it to train young doctors in the art and craft of effective and compassionate communication, and to provoke more senior staff to reflect on how to enhance their own skills and understanding.
Rinaldo Bolomo (Review Critical Care and Resuscitation)