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      I primarily work with a lot of AYA’s in my line of work, and while I have not had many experiences in discussing oncofertility topics with my patients, I am appreciative of being a part of this ECHO training so I can learn more effective communication skills to facilitate these conversations with my patients.

      Taking strategies I’ve used in discussions I’ve had with my patients on other topics, I always try to build rapport with my patients and the trust that I am there for them and want to ensure that the topics we discuss, the care I provide and the interventions we do are all for improving their health or for positive outcomes in their whole care. I also try to use age-appropriate language and ensure that my patient understands all that we’re discussing and encourage them to ask me questions if there is anything they don’t fully understand or are concerned about. I try to create an open and inviting atmosphere so my patients can hopefully feel comfortable talking with me and asking questions. Also, if we are discussing a heavy or anxiety-causing topic, I try to include other members of the healthcare team, such as child life specialists, psychologists or activities coordinators, whom the patient may feel more comfortable around, to participate in the conversation if the patient agrees, so that they may feel more at ease and able to open up about questions or concerns or feel more open to hearing and understanding the information we discuss, even when it is a tough topic to talk about. I also try to engage with my patients and their interests so I may better understand what their values are, so it can help me guide the conversation topics that may be best to prioritize.

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