Communication and shared decision making

Communication, tribalism, shared decision making and the value of knowing you already know enough – Mastering Intensive Care 062 with Steve Philpot

This episode is a departure from recent conversations about COVID-19 material to cover some very important topics on the human side of what we do in the ICU. My hope is you will glean valuable insights from an intensivist I admire greatly as both an expert practitioner and an esteemed educator of high-level intensive care communication – amongst other things, of course.

Dr Steve Philpot is an Intensive Care Specialist at Cabrini Hospital in Melbourne with a special interest in end of life care, organ and tissue donation, communication skills training and empathy in the workplace. He is the National Lead Trainer for the DonateLife Family Donation Conversation Workshops, the Convenor of the College of Intensive Care Medicine communication training program, convenor of the Cabrini Health “Shared Decision Making” and “Advance Care Planning Conversations” workshops and chair of the Cabrini Health End of Life Care Committee.

Steve is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Monash University and is involved in undergraduate communication training. He is currently completing a Masters of Health and Medical Law at Melbourne University. His other interests include playing guitar, singing, walking his dogs, the Fremantle Football Club (in the Australian Football League), and writing.

Steve was once an advanced trainee where I worked as a consultant, and always displayed wisdom beyond his experience, something that comes through in this conversation, even if he is highly experienced now. We recorded this conversation before SARS-COV2 had been described, so there is no discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic, but I guess that makes it a favourable choice to listen to for many of you right now.

In this conversation, Steve talks on topics including:

  • The importance of being calm and collaborative
  • His realisation that knowledge is not the most important thing we need
  • The usefulness in giving positive feedback, and being helpful, kind and humble
  • How tribalism damages workplace culture, and how we can deal with this
  • The ways he builds relationships with other team members
  • 3 vital points about, and his number 1 tip for communication
  • The usefulness of having an evolving phrase library
  • Shared decision making, including asking vital questions to learn what a patient really wants
  • His outside work interests, and what his self-care practice is
  • Thoughts on making a transition from a mega ICU to a smaller ICU, and
  • The value of knowing you already know enough
Further reading and listening
Mastering Internsive Care 700

Mastering Intensive Care

with Andrew Davies

Dr Andrew Davies MBBS FRACP FCIC. Intensivist/researcher at Frankston Hospital, Melbourne. Aiming to bring my best self to work & life. | Mastering Intensive Care | New Normal project |

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