Take a deep breath . . . and talk

Alan E O’Connor, William G Lukin and Victoria A Brazil
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11573
Published online: 3 June 2013

To the Editor: We congratulate Nowak on her discussion surrounding communication in the emergency department (ED).1 This is certainly an issue that has an impact on both patient safety and satisfaction, and is an area in which all medical personnel can improve. The challenges in ED are manifold, and time-based targets tend to militate against effective communication.2 A strategy that we have employed in our department is to involve the patient and their family in discussions that are relevant to them — in particular, the ward round. The first step in the round is to introduce the participating doctors, nurses and students to the patient, explain why it is being done, and let the patient listen to the presentation, which, after all, is about them and should not be a secret.

  • Alan E O’Connor
  • William G Lukin
  • Victoria A Brazil

  • Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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