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A Case-Study of the Anatomy of a Miscommunication: Why colleagues as patients develop complications?

Published on: 17th August, 2018

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 7844581704

This is an anatomy of a miscommunication, written by the patient, a medical school professor and his orthopaedic consultant, who was also a colleague leading to a series of misunderstandings. This raises the practical question of who is responsible for effective communication with the patient who is also a colleague. At the pre-operative assessment a combination of the diffidence of an inexperienced nurse and the patient’s wrong assumptions about his post-operative mobility and his keenness to maintain his independence and identity nearly led to a delayed discharge. The miscommunication was due to the patient’s assumptions about previous orthopaedic and recent cardiac surgery hospital experience. Neither he nor the nurse checked these assumptions and we speculate might this possibly account for why senior colleagues who become patients sometimes have unexpected complications. There are lessons to be learned from this frank exploration of the colleague patient’s experience of a miscommunication.
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