Learning how to deliver bad and challenging news

exploring the experience of trainee sonographers – a qualitative study

Liz Tomlin, Molly Parsons, Prashanth V. Kumar, Jane Arezina, Reema Harrison, Judith Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Previous studies suggest there is a need to improve the delivery of bad and challenging news in obstetric ultrasound settings. However, no research has explored the experiences of trainee sonographers when learning how to deliver challenging news. Understanding this could identify gaps in current provision and inform future training interventions.

Aims: To explore the experiences of trainee sonographers when learning how to deliver challenging news.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with trainee sonographers (n = 7) from four training centres to explore their experiences and preferences for news delivery training.

Results: Learning how to deliver difficult news was a journey where trainees developed their confidence over time. Most learning occurred in clinical settings, but classroom teaching complemented this. Trainees appreciated the opportunity to observe clinical practice and to hear from patient representatives. However, quality of teaching varied between centres and trainees reported uncertainty regarding the specific language and behaviours they should use. They described building their own personal protocol for news delivery through the course of their training.

Discussion: An ultrasound-specific news delivery protocol which details the words and behaviours sonographers can employ could help reduce uncertainty in trainees. Trainees may also benefit from receiving structured feedback on their news delivery performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound
Volume28
Issue number1
Early online date24 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • sonography
  • breaking bad news
  • training
  • feedback
  • Sonography

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