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Call for Volunteer Facilitators Aug-Oct 2016

The Pam McLean Centre (PMC) is based at Royal North Shore Hospital in the Sydney Medical School Northern. We have a pool of professional actors trained in medical scenarios that allow students and graduate doctors the opportunity to explore simulations involving challenging communications. Each year PMC conducts Stage 1 tutorial sessions, called Dealing with Bad News (DBN), and Stage 2 sessions called Aversive Procedures (AP), at each of the clinical schools – RPAH, Concord, RNSH, Westmead, Nepean, SAN. These sessions have received rave reviews from students for more than 10 years.

  • Stage 1 DBN tutorials are a prelude to learning how to break bad news, using a situation that is real and relevant for first year students. They are given the task of taking a history from an actor/patient (something they do every week in their clinical school days), but this patient is very emotional because they have just been given a diagnosis of lymphoma. The task then becomes dealing with the patient’s emotional state. There are four students in a group spending 30 minutes with each of four patients; each patient expresses a different emotion. The students can start and stop the scene at any point and seek feedback. The role of the facilitator in each group is to help the students explore the situation, elicit feedback and develop strategies for managing patients’ emotional states. The facilitators are not there as content experts, their role is to facilitate, not to teach.
  • Stage 2 AP tutorials provide a similar small-group experience focusing on Aversive Procedures. Prior to the session, students are required to research a particular aversive procedure and be prepared to explain the procedure to an actor/patient. This is not formal consent. The students practice how to communicate information to a patient who may be anxious and ill-informed. They explore factors such as the use of diagrams and the impact of their choice of words on patients’ understanding. Again, the facilitator is not meant to be a content expert, their role is to facilitate.

Facilitator training is scheduled on Monday, 15 August and tutorials commence end August through to late October 2016. Click Here for further insight into the facilitation experience.

Students value the input of experienced clinicians and we are always keen to find volunteer facilitators. Those who would like to participate are encouraged to contact PMC via or phone 02 9926 4691. Thank you for considering this teaching opportunity for 2016 and future years.

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