1st Edition

Relational Care Improving Communication in Healthcare

By Lisa Zammit, Georgeanne Schopp Copyright 2022
    154 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    154 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Relational Care focuses on how people working in and around healthcare can improve the delivery of whole person care. This text integrates Systems Theory and a range of communication tools to support readers in working collaboratively and developing individualized road maps for difficult conversations.

    Focusing on the relationships between patient, family, and clinician, known as the Relational System, the authors explore how effective communication in healthcare can improve the well-being of all. Beginning with theoretical chapters, the Personal System is described as body, mind, and spirit. Using both Systems encourages readers to see the whole person as they practice. The book incorporates how relational practice improves care in topics such as grief, end-of-life care, stress, and burnout, giving bad news and resolving conflict. Each chapter includes case studies, reflective questions, and prompts for critical thinking to help the reader embed their learning.

    This practice-changing textbook will be useful to a range of health practitioners, including nurses, Physician Assistants, physicians, and more. It can be used as a supplemental reading for medical interviewing and communications courses.

    Part I: Opening Our Eyes, 1. Introduction, 2. Defining the Problem, Part II: Elements of the Whole, 3. Body, 4. Mind, 5. Spirit, 6. Relational System, Part III: Barriers and Baggage, 7. Dying and Death, 8. Grief, 9. Cautionary Issues, 10. Stress, Compassion Fatigue and Burnout, Part IV: Creating Solutions, 11. Telling Bad News, 12. Bridging the Gap, 13. Taking Care of the Caregiver


    Lisa Zammit taught as an assistant professor at South University for over 10 years, teaching surgery, bioethics, and geriatrics. With degrees in Surgeon Assistant and Physician Assistant studies, she worked in a variety of clinical settings. Her clinical experience included critical care, surgery, emergency medicine, and research. While in Savannah, she served on the regional hospital’s medical ethics board. While obtaining her Master’s in Health Science at George Washington University, she focused on communication issues with Patients and Families, particularly End-of-Life conversations. During this time, she began collaboration with Georgeanne Schopp who informally supervised Lisa’s Master’s submission.

    Georgeanne Schopp obtained her Master’s Degree in Family and Child Development. While practicing as a Marriage and Family Therapist, she specialized in Thanatology and Grief. She supervised psychotherapy students, novices, and medical and mental health clinicians. Her experience in training medical professionals, clergy, and the public in care of the ill, dying, and bereaved was instrumental in the development of Relational Care. Utilizing their extensive clinical, teaching, and research experiences, the authors bring a unique and valuable perspective to the Patient/Family/Clinician relationship. Authoring two publications on communication issues, the partners teach Telling Bad News and Systems Theory in Relational Care to PA students and professionals, MDs, mental health professionals, and nurse practitioners. The collaboration of these two disciplines – medicine and psychotherapy – culminates in Relational Care.