Difficult conversations in the neonatal intensive care unit
The ability to communicate effectively with families in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is an essential skill for clinicians. Parental satisfaction and trust depend on the perception of open communication that reflects compassion, honesty, and caring. Families struggling with difficult situations in the NICU derive great benefit from discussions in which information is provided clearly and with empathy. Strategies for delivering bad news have been developed within the medical community and can be adapted for difficult discussions in the NICU. Such strategies can be integrated within an interactive curriculum that emphasizes simulation and role play to promote competency in communication skills.
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