Hospital Example 3

Common Communication Error:

Assuming preexisting knowledge: Hospital Example 3

 
Mr. Jack Garland is an 80 year old male admitted for failure to thrive and hip fracture. He is not a surgical candidate and so Orthopedics has signed off. You are a hospitalist and he is on your service. You have stabilized him and want to discharge him as there is nothing further you can do. Sharon Richardson is his only daughter. She is with her father when you stop to see him during morning rounds.

Sharon: “My dad does not look too good. How is he doing?”

You: “To be frank, he is not doing very well, I am afraid.”

Sharon: “So what do we do next?”

You: “I have referred him to Palliative Care Service.”

Sharon: “Paalitive…..? Pallyt..? What is that?”

You: “Palliative care. They are experts in pain and symptom management. They will help with your father’s pain.”

What was not addressed: “Your father is dying.”

 

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