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Effective Cancer Communication

A padlockResources for facilitators

The Effective Cancer Communication (ECC) program is a suite of workshops that teach best practice communication skills to health professionals, non-clinical staff and volunteers.  

Through experiential learning with a simulated patient (actor), participants explore and recognise emotional reactions to cancer and apply evidence-based communication frameworks to respond effectively. Receive feedback on personal communication in a safe environment and build capacity to manage differing perceptions and expectations of patients, their families and carers. Participants are also provided with tools and language to build trusting relationships for better patient experience and health outcomes.  

"Effective communication fosters patient autonomy within health services and enables supportive relationships with cancer patients and their families."

Our workshops: 

  1. Responding to emotions in cancer:

    In this workshop participants explore emotional reactions to cancer, learn to recognise emotions and apply frameworks to respond through practise with a simulated patient. Click here to register for our next workshop.

  2. Listen & Refer:

    This workshop is customised for those working in non-clinical roles in healthcare or other organisations such as banks, where staff work with customers affected by cancer and other serious illness.

    During this workshop we help participants to understand the extent of the impact that a cancer diagnosis has on cancer patients and their families. Following this, we introduce key communication strategies to recognise and respond to verbal and non-verbal cues and provide opportunities to practise with a simulated patient/customer.

  3. Discussing sad and difficult news:

    This workshop centres the practical, evidence-based framework of communicating sad and difficult news in healthcare settings. Participants will have opportunities to practise real-life scenarios with a simulated patient.

    These workshops are delivered by trained ECC facilitators at Cancer Council Victoria and at Victorian health organisations and universities.

Workshop delivery

Workshops can be delivered face-to-face (half day), online (half day) or as abridged online workshops (2 hrs).

"The training was terrific and gave so many other options to communicate/observe to ensure that our patient and carers/families (and staff) are more at ease"

For further information:

To find out more information about any of these workshops please contact Gagan Cheema at ecc@cancervic.org.au.