Communication is important in all aspects of nursing, whether with patients, health professionals or colleagues.
Good communication at the end of a patient’s life involves the ability to both give and receive information at a time where strong emotions and stress can affect even the most experienced clinician.
Video from the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC)
It is important that patients have the information that they need to enable informed decision making and that clinicians clearly understand patient and family preferences in developing goals of care:
Communication works best when it is open and sensitive as well as appropriate to the situation and applies to both nurses and patients. 
Unfortunately there is no formula to direct what to say or how to say it. Working with, seeking advice from, or observing more experienced colleagues communicate (such as Social Workers, Bereavement Counsellors and Pastoral Care Workers) is one way to learn.
Visit the End-of-Life Essentials website for e-learning resources
Read the RACGP article: Active listening - More than just paying attention (158kb pdf)
Access more communication resources
Last updated 20 August 2021