Talking with Family in the Waiting Room

Talking with Family in the Waiting Room – How I Do It

  1. Explain that the surgery is completed, seems obvious, but starts the conversation on the right foot.
  2. Tell them initially whether it went well or whether there were challenges – I say something like it went very smooth, or it was more challenging than what it typical, and then explain why.
  3. Explain what was done – take your time in this part
  4. This is a very important part!  Relate whether the patient was stable or not during the surgery – in a typical surgery I usually say something like “He/she was completely stable throughout, blood pressure, heart rate, oxygenation, and minimal bleeding”.  The family usually is relieved after hearing this part of the report.
  5. For the bigger surgical cases – I relate that the first hurdle is surgery, and the second hurdle is the first night, so still need to watch closely the BP, HR, oxygenation, and bleeding, etc.
  6. Where to go next, back to waiting room, or up to ICU.

Good luck, you will do great!