A Case Study
Cancer Council Victoria
Videos can be used to support face-to-face and online communication skills training. This document has been written to demonstrate how scenario based videos can be incorporated into communication skills training for Information Specialists who provide face-to-face cancer information support.
Training for Information Specialists is conducted face-to-face and is composed of multiple elements including theory, discussions, reviewing of video scenarios and participation in experiential role plays.
Increase Information Specialists knowledge, skills and confidence in the provision of appropriately sensitive discussions and tailored information for persons affected by cancer.
Support communication skills theory and reinforce prior learning.
Enhance comprehension of communication strategies to support discussion.
Enhance comprehension of the Information Specialist role.
The following videos make up the two modules discussed in this guide:
Description of the video scenario (scene one and two)
In the first scene (scene one) the Information Specialist asks the patient if she needs some help. The patient replies she is after some information about chemotherapy. The Information Specialist then proceeds to load the patient up with a number of brochures. You can see that the patient is feeling confused and overwhelmed at the end of scene one.
In the second scene (scene two) the Information Specialist again asks the patient if she needs some help. The patient replies she is after some information about chemotherapy. This time, the information specialist asks if the patient has time to talk and once agreed takes the patient to an appropriate space for a conversation. The Information Specialist asks if it is okay to ask what type of cancer the patient has. The patient informs it is breast cancer and starts to explain how she is confused about the nature of her treatments. The patient is receiving conflicting information from different specialist health professionals. The Information Specialist is very attentive displaying active listening and appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication. The patient explains after seeing each doctor she walks away thinking about what questions she should have asked. The Information Specialist selects one of the brochures and describes how it provides a list of common questions and a place to write down questions. The scene concludes when the Information Specialist asks if this resource would be useful. The patient responds positively.
An alternative to using video may be to develop scripts for analysis, or structured role play activities. Two participant/actors could act these scenes out in front of the participants.
Face-to-face Communications Skills Training Program
This training program is in two parts:
Part One: Communication Skills Theory Based Training
The Communication Skills Scenario Based Training will refer to the Oncotalk communication skills framework.
Part one will include the following communication theory:
- Ask-Tell-Ask principle
- Using appropriate questions: Follow up question, Clarifying question, Summary statement/question
- Responding to emotions – Naming, Understanding, Respecting, Supporting, Exploring, Empathy (including non-verbal and verbal empathy statements)
Part Two: Communication Skills Scenario Based Training (video scenario and role play activities)
The focus of this document is on Communication Skills Scenario Based Training
It is recommended that this video scenario be used to support and reinforce communication skills theory.
Key communication themes: Responding to emotions, information provision and body language
The following facilitator plan provides an example of how scenario based videos can be used in communication skills training.
|Communication Skills Scenario Based Training (video scenario and role play activities)Verbal and non-verbal communication techniques||Introduction to communication skills scenario based training
Learning outcome: Observe and recommend appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication techniques
|Video : Scene One|
|Activity 2:Learning outcome: Identify verbal and non-verbal communication techniques used in response to emotions
After viewing the second scene the facilitator could ask participants to identify the verbal and non-verbal communication techniques used (including eye contact, facial expression, pauses in conversation, hand gestures) responding to emotions/demonstrating empathy.
|Video : Scene Two|
|Ask-Tell-Ask Principle||Activity 3: Learning outcome: Identify how an Information Specialist may apply the Ask-Tell-Ask principle
To support and reinforce the Ask-Tell-Ask principle participants could identify how the information specialist applied this in scene two.Ask: How did the volunteer ask the patient about her understanding of the issue?Information specialist states “Is it ok to ask what type of cancer it is about”Tell: How did the information specialist communicate a solution to her problem? (Information provision)Ask: Did the information specialist ask the patient to restate what was suggested?
|Video : Scene Two|
|Communication skills themes||Activity 4: Learning outcome: Observe and discuss the application of communication techniques in a cancer information support setting
Another suggested activity is for the facilitator to show participants snippets from scene two to discuss communication skills themes. The table below is an example of the themes and statements and their appearance (time) in scene two that could be used in a group discussion.
|Video : Scene Two
|Communication skills training session :Role play Scenario Training||The videos and activities provide participants with knowledge in appropriate communication techniques. It is suggested the facilitator conclude the training program by including a role play activity.
Activity 5:Learning outcome: To observe and apply appropriate communication techniques in response to a patient displaying a particular emotion
Participants could be involved in a role play activity, responding to emotions. The trainer/facilitator taking on the role of a cancer patient and the participant taking on the role of Information Specialist. These role plays would be unscripted. The actor will present to the participant a particular emotion e.g. anxiety, despair, anger and the participant would need to respond with the appropriate communication techniques.
|Participant and actor|
Table One: Communication themes
Video: Scene Two
The following time codes will assist facilitators in identifying key elements of the video.
|Permission asking||‘Would it be OK to ask what sort of cancer we’re talking about?’||0.25 – 0.27|
|Minimal encourager||‘M-hm’||0.57 – 0.59|
|Responding to emotions – Naming||‘So different doctors are saying different things?’||0.38 – 0.40|
|Empathy statement||‘It can be hard to follow can’t it?’
‘Sounds quite overwhelming.’
|0.44 – 0.460.51 – 0.53|
|Summary statement||‘So different doctors are saying different things.’||0.38 – 0.41|
|Supporting, Exploring||‘Some people find it helpful to write things down and I’m just wondering if this book will be any use to you.’||1.00 – 1.07|
|Understanding shown (active listening, and use of silence)||0.57 – 0.59; 0.34 – 0.38; 0.42 – 0.44|
This file also available as a downloadable pdf file