Using YouTube to teach how to break bad news

Categories: Education.

The course outline involves showing movie clip examples of someone breaking bad news, and then pausing to allow for discussion amongst the group. Suggested questions are provided to help initiate discussion, and course leaders are encouraged to come up with their own tailored questions.

Clips include an excerpt from the movie Wit (2001) featuring Emma Thompson in her role as a professor who is diagnosed with metastatic Stage IV ovarian cancer. A clip from the movie The Shootist (1971) shows John Wayne receiving a frank diagnosis of advanced cancer from a doctor. Other clips include those from the movies 50/50, Dumb and Dumber and Little Miss Sunshine.

Alex Smith, from the course outline: “Some of these excerpts are short, some of them long. Some of them are with physicians or nurses, some of them are not with health professionals at all. But all have some lessons for us about how to talk in a humanistic way about a potentially terrifying subject.”

The course was created by Alex Smith, and is available to view on the GeriPal website.

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