Navigating the emotions that come with talking about end-of-life care can be tricky. But advance care planning shouldn’t be put off until a patient is near death. The situation is often chaotic and even more emotional at that point.
If you’re avoiding the subject with patients, try this preparation strategy: role-play with a colleague. Pretend your co-worker is a 52-year-old who has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, for example, or a 75-year-old with liver failure. Practice what you would say to start the conversation and how you would respond to questions the patient will probably have. Then you can switch and play the patient while your colleague plays the doctor. Exploring the conversation from both sides may give you more confidence and empathy when it’s time to try it for real.
Read the full FPM article: “Advance Care Planning: How to Have the Conversation You Want With Your Patients.”
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