With the minefield of subjects growing ever larger, talking to patients and community members can become a difficult process when it comes to scientifically sophisticated and divisive topics. We know that having tactics, training, and reinforcements makes talking about difficult subjects a lot easier and ultimately more successful. In the public health and medical communities, we know that these instances are not only inevitable but sometimes a weekly occurrence, and the health of our communities depends on these conversations.
This is exactly what Immunize Oregon and Oregon AWARE had in mind when they created the “Having Difficult Conversations” seminar. The seminar focuses on the basic techniques of motivational interviewing and its applications in patient education settings, specifically around the topics of immunizations and antibiotic use. Motivational interviewing (MI) is a method that works on facilitating and engaging intrinsic motivation within the client in order to change behavior. Typically used for more traditional behavior change counseling such as smoking cessation, motivational interviewing is a goal-oriented, client-centered counseling and conversation style that can helping clients explore and resolve ambivalence. These methods are easily applied to the charged and emotionally driven conversations that surround for other health topics, like immunizations. Combining MI techniques, local statistics, case studies, and plenty of group and individual practice, this seminar strives to provide participants with alternatives to stonewalling and conflict through empathy and empowerment.
The seminar has gleaned positive reviews on practical applications and confidence building with regards to these tricky patient/community member interactions. After the initial presentation, Immunize Oregon and Oregon AWARE saw the potential for this to be a tool for partners and providers throughout the state. The scope of the seminar was expanded so that it could be tailored to varying group sizes and provider types. Immunize Oregon and Oregon AWARE hope to be able to provide this seminar to as many groups as possible and are offering a series of free presentations at the Portland State Office Building. If you are interested in attending, please click on the date you want to register for, as we do require an RSVP to attend.
We hope to add more workshops later in the year in different locations, so stay tuned for future dates!