We were never taught how to do this part. It’s only through years of trial and error that you figure out the best way of breaking bad news – hopefully without too much of the error. Sometimes you know you do it well, and others, well…
One thing is certain, this long walk and the interaction at the end is a test of compassion. It’s a chance for you to see the complexities in the world. It is a juncture when you are let in to the most intimate, raw and unexpectedly candid moments of a person’s life. You just hope you are up to the privilege.
Watch Dr Michelle Johnston re-tell Breaking bad news:
Breaking bad news by Dr Michelle Johnston (@Eleytherius) appears in EMERGENCY: Real Stories from Australia’s ED Doctors, available now from Penguin Books Australia.