Nursing: The Art of Giving a Cancer Patient Bad News

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About the Webinar Course

This webinar course has been previously recorded.  

Though the majority of people diagnosed with cancer today become long-term survivors, there are still many who do not and are forced to succumb to their disease. Telling a patient that they have advanced cancer, progression of the disease, little treatment options left, and/or it is time to seriously discuss Hospice care, results in anxiety for the person expected to be giving that news. Communication training is limited in medical and nursing schools for having such a conversation. Yet, we know from clinical research that patients want honesty, always. This webinar course provides insight into the issues that cancer patients face once diagnosed with advanced disease, how to effectively address them, and ways to become more comfortable discussing bad news, even talking about death. You will learn how to effectively support a patient and their family so that the patient is informed and able to participate in decision making about their care. How to orchestrate a good and peaceful death is presented, and in the end, you will have the resources and tools you need to improve your skill set in giving patients bad news and supporting them along their journey into end-of-life. 

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the webinar course, the learner will be able to:
  • Learn the primary reasons why healthcare professionals working in oncology have difficulty giving bad news.
  • Understand the value of creating and maintaining an honest relationship between the patient and their treatment team.
  • Identify the negative outcomes when giving bad news is delayed or information is overly optimistic.
  • Identify ways to give patients with advanced cancers an ability to gain control over their lives.
  • Identify at least 6 of the 9 elements to be successfully fulfilled by the patient to experience a good and peaceful death.

About the Presenter:
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS., MAS, HON- ONN-CG

Lillie Shockney is well-known in the cancer field, especially in navigation, survivorship, patient centered care, preservation of quality of life, end-of-life planning and care, improving the cancer patient’s experience, and clinical outcomes. She clinically specializes in breast cancer care. Her public speaking, literary work, and notable roles she has held over the last 40+ years are known to many. A two-time breast cancer survivor, originally diagnosed in her 30s, Ms. Shockney has worked tirelessly to improve the care of breast cancer patients around the world. She takes great pride in the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN), which as of April 2020 has more than 8,900 members and currently serves on 28 medical advisory boards. Ms. Shockney has served as a consultant for breast cancer for national ABC News and Good Morning America and has been also consulted regularly by the Today Show and CNN. Ms. Schokney has worked at Johns Hopkins since 1983. Her research area of focus is preservation of quality of life for patients with metastatic breast cancer. Currently, a documentary is being made about her life and her life’s work. She tells people she never forgets where she came from—she will always be “a farmer’s daughter.”

Content Reviewer:
June Thompson, DrPH, MSN, RN, FAEN

Dr. Thompson has a long history of working in emergency care and in the community.  She holds a doctoral degree in public health with an emphasis in epidemiology and health services administration.  Dr. Thompson has held academic positions at the Ohio State University, the University of Texas, and the University of New Mexico.  She is currently a Nurse Planner for Elite Healthcare. 

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