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acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, difficult conversations, standardized patient



  1. Coates, Jennifer DNP, MBA, ACNPC, ACNP-BC


Health care providers are often tasked with communicating difficult, emotionally charged news, including delivering an unwelcome diagnosis and planning end-of-life care. Patients and family members often cannot recall specifics of these conversations, although their perceptions of how information was communicated by health care providers impact not only their evaluation of the quality of care received, but also their abilities to cope with the communicated bad news. What can be done to better prepare novice clinicians to have these types of conversations? This quality improvement project used a simulation-based difficult conversation workshop given to adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner students in their final year of study. The workshop comprised both standardized patient actors and a structured communication curriculum. A pretest/posttest was conducted to show that this intervention was effective in increasing student confidence to facilitate difficult conversations in clinical practice.