Patient Communication from Denmark to St. Jude Hospital Posted on May 18th, 2020 by

For senior nursing major Rachel Huber, her interest in patient and family communication led her to Aarhus, Denmark in January 2019. While abroad, she studied how Danish oncology nurses communicate with their patients about the end of life. Huber’s experience in Denmark prepared her for an internship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in January 2020.

As part of the Hospital Quality of Life research team at St. Jude, Huber learned about different communication strategies used by healthcare providers when speaking to pediatric patients and their families about a prognosis. Some of the strategies used by Huber involved active listening and tailoring therapeutic communication in order to ensure that patients and families feel heard and supported.

“These prognostic communication research experiences increased my awareness of the significant impact that my communication has on patient and family hospital experience and patient outcomes,” said Huber. With a new perspective, she has found her passion between pediatric nursing and prognostic communication research.

Huber attributes her success in her research experiences to the training that she has received through the Gustavus nursing program. From in-class research projects to studying abroad in Denmark, there were ample opportunities to hone nursing and research skills.  “It was through this Gustavus preparation that I gained confidence in my research abilities that helped me excel at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” Huber said. “A Gustavus liberal arts nursing education equips nursing students to keep patients and their families at the forefront of everything they do.”

Beyond her nursing major, Huber is involved in the Big Partner Little Partner program, is the historian for the Gustavus Student Nursing Association, and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. After graduation, Huber looks forward to serving the needs of patients and their families as a nurse.




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