As a healthcare provider, delivering bad news to a patient and their family is never easy. This may be a weekly, or sadly even daily, occurrence for some health care providers. By delivering bad news through a trauma-informed lens, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers can help to lessen emotional impact on their patients and families.  Some basic tips for providing trauma informed care include:

  • Minimize potentially traumatic aspects of medical care and procedures
  • Provide child and family with basic support and information
  • Address distress (pain, fear, loss)
  • Identify family strengths and resources (help parents and family help the child)
  • Screen to determine which children and families might need more support, and make appropriate referrals
  • Provide anticipatory guidance about adaptive ways of coping

If you need to deliver bad news to a patient, in what ways do incorporate trauma informed care techniques?