Workplace-based communication skills training in clinical departments: Examining the role of collegial relations through positioning theory

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Introduction: Studies suggest that the workplace is a key to understanding how clinical communication skills learning takes place and that medical communication skills need to be reinforced over time in order not to deteriorate. This study explored the perceptions of doctors in four hospital departments who participated in a workplace-based communication training project. Its specific focus was the relationship between collegial relations and learning communication skills. Methods: The study applied a qualitative design using an ethnographic methodology, i.e. interviews and observations. Positioning theory was used as the theoretical framework. Results: Training communication skills with colleagues in the actual workplace setting was valued by the participants who experienced more sharing of communication challenges, previously understood as something private one would not share with colleagues. However, collegial relations were also barriers for providing critical feedback, especially from junior doctors to their seniors. Conclusion: The position as “colleague” both reinforced the communication skills training and hindered it. The communication skills educational model had a flat, non-hierarchical structure which disturbed the hierarchical structure of the workplace, and its related positions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Teacher
Volume41
Issue3
Pages (from-to)309-317
Number of pages9
ISSN0142-159X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • EDUCATION, IMPACT, LEARN, REPORTING QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

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