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A recent letter-to-the-editor about RI Hospital entitled "Lovely nurses, mean doctor" illustrated how difficult it can be for colleagues to communicate effectively under stressful circumstances, and how distressing those poor interactions can be to patients.

To reduce miscommunication between colleagues and improve patient outcomes, the UNAP/ RI Hospital Health Care Education Trust will be piloting a two-day program called  "Crucial Conversations" for nurses, physicians, and other staff who work on Coop-2, an orthopedic unit that has successfully introduced other innovations at RI Hospital.  The program, which is based on the best-selling book Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high, will be offered in February, 2011, and willl train participants to effectively engage in -- rather than avoid -- difficult, high-stakes conversations.