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ERIC Number: ED281252
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987-Feb
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Interpersonal Communication Instruction in the Non-Traditional Context: Teaching Communication Strategies in a Hospice Setting.
Fieweger, Margaret A.
While many health care delivery systems are criticized for the dehumanizing way they treat patients, hospice care presents a refreshing alternative to health care for the terminally ill. Patients appropriate for hospice care are those with six months or less to live. Interpersonal communication education is an important component of hospice care training programs; before staff members or volunteers may work with hospice families, they must complete 30 hours of supervised training in various aspects of the communication process. A high degree of uncertainty is present in the situation for both the family and team members, but most research indicates that the optimum situation for dying persons and their families occurs when the impending death is faced openly--the "open awareness" context allows persons to review and make sense out of their relationships, to handle the business aspects of dying as a team--putting wills and financial affairs in order--and to share grief with the persons who are best able to understand it. Hospice workers receive extensive training in the following interpersonal communication skills: (1) owning feelings, (2) accepting feelings, (3) sharing feelings when appropriate, (4) active listening to content and relational messages, (5) responding to content and relational messages, and (6) some conflict resolution strategies. They are taught how to describe the family system and how to intervene to provide more satisfying communication exchanges. (A short bibliography is included.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A