Breaking bad news is probably the most miserable aspect of our job in Emergency Medicine. I’d rather go to an infection control committee meeting than tell someone I’ve never met before that their loved one has just died. However, just like working to cut down on nosocomial infections is really important work, so is breaking bad news, and doing it well at least leaves you with a sense that you have done something really important. Strangely, you will receive a lot more thanks and appreciation from the community for the work you do telling them their loved ones are dead than you will saving them from untreatable staph sepsis.
Read on for a look at how to do it and how to teach it.