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The Course

"This is meant to be challenging"

This is a whole day course during which you will have the opportunity to participate in or observe a range of challenging advanced communication situations.

The scenarios are designed to replicate some of the more challenging conversations that you may face during your intensive care practice. It is expected that course participants will already have experience in communicating with relatives in intensive care. Scenarios include:

- 1st person breaking bad news

- Explaining neurological death

- Dealing with medical error

- Withholding intensive care admission

- Telephone communications


Dealing with challenging colleagues

During our working lives we all encounter colleagues who can be challenging for many reasons

We run a bespoke workshop during the course in which you get to practice how to deal with these situations. Our acting team will play the part of a colleague you have encountered, using language and behaviours set by you, giving you the opportunity to try different approaches to dealing with them. These workshops are run in small groups (no more than 3) with a facilitator and actor

"[It was] nice to practice in a non-threatening environment"

Choose your own adventure

Ever wondered what would happen if you said....?

Throughout the course you can experiment with different approaches to conversations. We know how exposing it can feel being in a simulation so we put our faculty in the hot seat for our choose your own adventure session. Set the scene, direct the action, make our faculty say what you thought you'd never say, see how different strategies play out...


Structure of the day

Small groups, high faculty ratio, multiple scenarios

We believe that communication skills are best practiced in small groups.

Our course has a maximum of 12 participants with a minimum faculty ratio of 1 to 4.

We use 4 actors throughout the day in a number of different ways. You might be one on one or you may experience a large family group. Every particiant will have the opportunity to be in several simulations and witness many more. We rotate our groups so that you gain maximum exposure to different peers, faculty and actors. 

"Well run and great to have hands on learning of an area of practice often neglected"

Who should come?

We think that you'll get the most out of the course if you have had some experience of communication in a critical care setting. We have aimed it at trainees in ICM at ST3-ST7 level, but if you're in a non-training post, an SAS doctor with similar (or better) experience or a post-CCT fellow we would love you to join us too. 

Similarly we welcome ACCPs on the course - we've found that they bring a wealth of experience that is valuable to us all. Our experience has taught us it's best to have some time under your belt first as the course can be demanding. For that reason if you're an ACCP still in training then bookmark us and come back once you've been in post for a bit.

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