Cindy Adams

Cindy Adams

MSW, PhD

Canada

Cindy Adams is Professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Calgary, Veterinary Medicine, where she developed and implemented the Clinical Communication Program in Calgary’s new veterinary school. She honed her professional understanding of human-animal relationships serving from 1980-1992 as a social worker in child welfare, women’s shelters and the justice system. Animals were frequently involved in that work. Combining the very different perspectives gained from her experiences in social work and a doctorate in veterinary epidemiology, she became a faculty member at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph (1996-2006). There she designed and directed the first veterinary communication curriculum in North America and pioneered a research program regarding communication in veterinary medicine.

She helped initiate the Institute for Healthcare Communication, Bayer veterinary communication project. Her research has focused on communication education, veterinary-client communication in large and small animal contexts, animal welfare, companion animal death and human grief. Founder of the International Conference on Communication in Veterinary Medicine, co-author of Skills for Communicating in Veterinary Medicine she has presented widely and advised veterinarians, veterinary practice teams and veterinary educators throughout North America, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean.

Contribution

Communication is a clinical skill (part 1)

Communication is a clinical skill (part 1)

The communication skills that follow are essential for the development of a collaborative veterinarian-client partnership, staff member-client partnership, staff member-staff member relationship. These skills constitute the core of clinical communication skills that can lead to more common ground, enhanced relationships and coordination of care, reduced conflicts and complaints. Inclusion of these skills in every day practice requires us to move beyond what we do anyway to a higher level of intention in the way that we interact with clients and one another. These more effective consultations and interactions also lead to improved outcomes of care including: improved client, vet practitioner, staff member satisfaction, increased understanding and recall by clients, increased adherence and practice success.

Communication is a clinical skill (part 2)

Communication is a clinical skill (part 2)

The communication skills that follow are essential for the development of a collaborative veterinarian-client partnership, staff member-client partnership, staff member-staff member relationship. These skills constitute the core of clinical communication skills that can lead to more common ground, enhanced relationships and coordination of care, reduced conflicts and complaints. Inclusion of these skills in every day practice requires us to move beyond what we do anyway to a higher level of intention in the way that we interact with clients and one another. These more effective consultations and interactions also lead to improved outcomes of care including: improved client, vet practitioner, staff member satisfaction, increased understanding and recall by clients, increased adherence and practice success.

Why invest in communication (part 5)

Why invest in communication (part 5)

In the US, there are 3 times more suicides in the veterinary profession than in the average population and the ratio is even worse for women. Working as a vet practitioner clearly put us at risk of “compassion fatigue”, a very tricky and devastating disease. We are convinced that good communication with the pet owners and with the staff can contribute to a balanced life and help prevent burnout and other psychological disorders. This is an unexpected but very true reason to improve communication skills.

Why invest in communication (part 3)

Why invest in communication (part 3)

In the US, there are 3 times more suicides in the veterinary profession than in the average population and the ratio is even worse for women. Working as a vet practitioner clearly put us at risk of “compassion fatigue”, a very tricky and devastating disease. We are convinced that good communication with the pet owners and with the staff can contribute to a balanced life and help prevent burnout and other psychological disorders. This is an unexpected but very true reason to improve communication skills.

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