About Breaking Bad News
Members of the health profession often have trouble breaking bad news to a patient or relative of a patient and may have had little or no opportunity to gain the skills needed to do this in a sensative and professional manner. They may feel ill-prepared to deal with the the patient's reactions which can range from anger to guilt and may even include blaming the bearer of the news for their current predicament.
This website is here to provide suggestions and guidelines on how best to communicate medical information effectively to a patient or their loved ones and to help the health professional respond to a patient's feelings and needs.
If you want to improve your skills and develop methods to handle bad news situations a good place to begin would be to visit our guidelines section.
This section makes available a wide range of interactive learning examples which should help you to improve your communications skills and improve self-awareness. Each part has excercises which will encourage reflection, linking with your own experiences. For example; Telling a patient about a poor prognosis, handling the aftermath of breaking such news or working with their relatives of a patient who has been given a short time to live.
This section provides downloads and other features which you can use within your own medical establishment. You can also work through a selection of useful links to other sites relating to this subject
This part of the site gives ideas and methods for dealing with some of the reactions you may see during the course of your work. These may include:
Collusion (when you are asked by a family member not to make public the patient's prognosis)
Answering difficult questions
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