2018 Communication in Anaesthesia SIG workshop

Join us in Adelaide on Friday October 5 for an innovative, practical and challenging day focussed on refining and developing your communication skills in a variety of situations.

The meeting is a great opportunity to learn from colleagues who actively employ advanced communication techniques in their clinical practice. There is an extensive range of workshops to choose from, covering topics as diverse as giving feedback; forming a “flash” team; dealing with personality disorders and the use of hypnotic techniques. The presenters are predominantly anaesthetists with clinical interests in a variety of areas along with a psychiatrist and some pain physicians.



Metaphors for the Concrete Thinker – the use of metaphor for communication in medicine
Dr Rob Laing

You may think of metaphor as the icing on the cake of literature and poetry? This workshop will show you that metaphor is the cake. Using practical exercises we’ll work through the use of story and metaphor for effectively communicating with patients, colleagues and administrators. We'll be drawing on the use of metaphor and story in clinical hypnosis and dipping our toes into some "clean language” techniques.

Beyond telepathy with surgeons
Dr Suyin Tan

This small group workshop provides the opportunity to explore the similarities and differences between anaesthetists and surgeons and find better ways to communicate with them. The group will develop an understanding of surgeon's perspectives and and how to utilise these when working in theatres especially in resolving differences of opinion or outright conflict. Be prepared to bring your own experiences and top
tips to contribute to the group.

The power of placebo
Dr Andrew Watson

Beyond pharmacology; an evidence based review of how to get the most out of the treatments we use.

Establishing rapport and dealing with distressed patients including teaching self-hypnosis
Dr Mike Goldblatt

As anaesthetists we frequently have limited time to develop a healthy interpersonal relationship with our patients. To be successful, this relationship needs to address both informational and emotional factors. We meet many patients very close to their time of surgery when their anxiety and fear levels are elevated. There are many techniques established in the fields of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and hypnosis the we can take advantage of to establish rapport rapidly and quickly reduce anxiety without resorting to pharmacological agents. These techniques can be utilised and taught to patients regardless of whether our introduction to the patient is in consulting rooms, on the ward or in the holding bay before surgery.

This workshop will review and teach some of these very practical skills (based on current neuroscience) that participants will be able to use immediately in their practice. Depending on the time available between meeting the patient and their surgery these will be skills that can be used by patients immediately or over the time preceding surgery. The use of virtual reality headsets – a technology that will become more readily available soon will also be demonstrated.

Communication and conflict: The mindful practice approach
Dr Andrew Czuchwicki

Discover and experience the "mindful practice" approach to engaging in communication with colleagues and co-workers and dealing with conflict situations. Mindful practice was developed by Dr Ron Epstein and Dr Mick Krasner at the University of Rochester using techniques from mindfulness, narrative medicine and affirmative inquiry to meet the challenges doctors face in the practice of medicine in the modern age. I had the privilege of experiencing this approach and was inspired to train with Ron and Mick in how to deliver this work to my colleagues. What makes Mindful Practice unique is that it is designed to be delivered by doctors for doctors who are all practicing together. Acknowledging the challenges of the reality of medical practice from the lived experience and then engaging with that reality in ways that produce responses that serve us, our colleagues and the workplace that encourage us to not just be okay but to flourish. So I am extending an invitation to anyone who wishes to explore this approach to communicating and dealing with conflict or is just curious to see how the Mindful Practice approach works to join me for this experiential Workshop.

Giving authentic feedback
Dr Marion Andrew 

This workshop is designed for anyone who supervises trainees, and asks the question: How could we build trust enough to incorporate informal feedback on attitudes and behaviour into our everyday working environment?
Behaviour and the nebulous concept of ‘attitudes’ are trickier to address in an authentic and respectful way than knowledge and skills deficits. Sub-optimal attitudes can show up for many reasons but if persistent, trainees can become the subject of hushed corridor conversations, while we unaware of the impression they are making. With earlier informal feedback could we address this long before professional or employment difficulties arise? 
This interactive workshop offers an opportunity to share ideas and explore the ‘how’ of informal feedback before we reach intervention at Level 1 ("chat over a cup of tea") awareness in the Van Der Bilt Model.  



Our keynote speaker is Judy McKimm, Professor of Medical Education at Swansea University, UK who is an expert on leadership, education and communication frameworks. In addition we also have Professor Kirsty Forrest, Dean of Medicine at Bond University speaking on communication.

Social program

There will be time at the end of the day to enjoy a dinner with fellow participants at Georges on Waymouth.




This event is claimable by ANZCA CPD participants as follows:
  • Knowledge and skills activities: Lectures – one credit per hour.  Workshops – two credits per hour.

ANZCA members will automatically have their attendance accredited to their CPD portfolio.


Dr Suyin Tan


For further information please contact the meeting secretariat:
Senior Events Officer
P: +61 3 9517 5332

Join the conversation on Twitter  #CommSIG18
Copyright © Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.