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Emulating a role model will improve communication skills
  1. Jo Hockley
  1. Jo Hockley is Consultant Nurse, St Christopher’s Hospice, London, and Consultant Editor, End of Life Care

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In the last three editorials, the theme of communication has been explored. Issues discussed include how nurses deal with complaints, engage in the process of ‘being there’ for patients and families, or communicate the importance of end-of-life care (EoLC) strategies to their colleagues, encouraging them to take an active role in planning EoLC. Effective communication skills underpin the nursing care of people who are dying. However, appropriate and empathetic communication is something that many nurses find difficult to accomplish.

Recently I returned to work at St Christopher’s Hospice, London, having first walked into the hospice 30 years ago as a staff nurse. Later, as a ward sister, I had the privilege of working alongside the consultant Dr Tom West. Tom was able to engage with patients in such a way that ward rounds became a master-class in how to undertake sensitive conversations …

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