So, then, actually having the discussion.
So, once you've heard from them about their understanding,
try to clarify whatever initial questions they might have.
Then, you want to confirm the medical facts.
You want to make sure that you're delivering information
in a sensitive and straightforward manner.
You're not being blunt. You're not hitting them
over the head with information
but you're doing it sensitively and empathically.
You want to try to avoid excessive medical detail.
So, you do need to share information, whatever,
you know, the diagnostic test results is
or, you know, the outcome of a treatment, complication
that might have happened, whatever the information is.
You don't want to go into too much detail but you need to give
enough so that they understand what's going on.
And all through this, you need to demonstrate
that you care for the patient, you care for the family,
and you're, again, trying to do
this in a sensitive manner.
So, one of the important things, especially
if it's, you know, a more serious condition,
patients in the intensive care unit who
are facing end-of-life decisions,
you want to provide assurance explicitly, you know,
that the patient's comfort will be a priority.
That you want to make sure that they are
having their symptoms managed,
while there might be treatment decisions that need to be made,
one of your priorities is going to be their comfort.
It's important also, similar to when
you're breaking serious news, to be an active listener.
So, there may be a need for moments of silence.
Let people process information.
You shouldn't fill in all the gaps with,
you know, healthcare team member talking.
It should be moments of silence, letting the family
and/or the patient fill in the moments of silence,
you know, with what their questions
or concerns might be.
And there should be an expectation that
they're going to, you know, show some emotion,
especially, if it's serious news and you want
to respond empathically to the emotions
either expressed by the patient or the family.