A frequently cited definition of breaking bad news (BBN) is that it is any sad or significant information that impacts the patient negatively and alters their perception or expectation of their present and future (Fallowfield and Jenkins 2004).
Delivering this form of news would definitely be a hard task as it requires taking a lot of emotions that come into play here such as anxiety, responsibility, fear etc into consideration. This stress causes reluctance to deliver which is called the “MUM EFFECT”.
Overcoming this requires a lot of training, following guidelines and experience. The role of a nurse is to be present during consultation to assist the doctor and the patient , acting as a witness to what has been said and provide support to the recipient of the news ever after consultation.
Dewars (2000) findings was an interesting study as it further expands the concept of breaking bad news from a single event to a process that occurs over a time. Therefore process of breaking bad news can be considered to involve activities that take place before, during and after the initial provision of information thereby involving nurses more than they are given credit for. This Increases their role and hence the necessity for having proper skill to deal with the situation.
Have you ever been asked or involved in sharing “bad news”?
What was it, how did they respond ?
Share your experience in comment
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