Clinical placements

Tailor your communication to your patient

Caring for a patient with a severe brain injury taught Lauren Stafford the importance of tailoring your communication. 
Lauren Stafford

Caring for a patient with a severe brain injury taught Lauren Stafford the importance of tailoring your communication

While working on an intensive care unit, I helped to care for a man who had sustained a severe right-sided brain injury after falling down the stairs about two weeks earlier.

The patient, who I will call John, had shown little signs of improvement since the event, and the doctors were in talks with his family about how to proceed. They had a ‘do not attempt CPR’ order in place, and organ donation had been mentioned as it seemed there was little chance that John’s condition would improve.

When John was handed over to us, we were told he had a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of seven out of 15, indicating that his consciousness level was very low. The GCS is scored between three and 15, with three

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