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Continuing Education: The Power of Language—Empowering Social Work to Influence Word Choice in Patient-Centered Care

Wednesday, February 2, 2022
12 – 3 p.m.

At the heart of communication in health care settings and beyond are decisions related to language and word choice. As palliative care has developed and been integrated across settings and diagnoses, phrases and concepts, such as “quality of life,” “goals of care” and “suffering,” weave across discussions, often without consciousness of the cultural, social, and historical contexts of the patient and family we are serving. No matter the setting, words and phrases significantly impact patient and family experiences, decisional outcomes, bereavement, and legacy. Well-intentioned yet misplaced word choice can negatively impact patient interpretation of information and create distance when the goal is to enhance connection. Social workers, as experts and leaders in communication, can model and educate as they attend to their own language in speaking and documentation, and invite colleagues to join them in mitigating the unintended consequences of ineffective word choice.

Continuing Education Hours Offered: 3


This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.