Hola a tod@s, my dear friends:

Dr. Alberto García Oguiza, a friend of mine, Neuropaediatrician and mate at  University of Alcalá, shares with us the next document From the blog Pediatría Basada en pruebas.

The Decalogue of recommendations (based on ethics and etiquette) for better communication with parents (and families) in the NICU, contains a summary of the article published in JAMA Pediatrics by the research POST Group (Parents for the Other Side of Treatment).

This is the Decalogue:

1. Call my son or daughter by name, no matter how strange pr unpronounceable  that may be for you.  Know the sex of my baby.

2. Do not label to my newborn. My son or daughter is not a diagnosis, it is not the “A8”, “25 weeks”, “hyaline membrane disease” or “Turner syndrome”.

3- Present with your name. Tell us who are you, what your charge is and why my baby is admitted. Do not assume that we know it and do not assume that we remember it.

4. Listen to me. When you visit my baby, acknowledge my presence. Sit down next to me, if you can. Ask me how I think that my son is evolving. Appreciate our silence. We can´t annoy you so don’t take it as something personal.

5. If you can, speak our language and in our level: adapt your language to our possibilities and needs. Every father and mother are different. Some want numbers, forecasts and statistics. Others nothing. Sometimes we want to know how evolves our baby in comparison with other newborns with the same gestational age, weight or pathology.

6.-Inform us with one voice and, if possible, with a unique professional and consistently. We are overwhelmed with the team of professionals who attend our baby: pediatricians, nurses, residents, assistants, students, etc. More speakers we have, better chance of confusion. Also, limit the number of people who look at my newborn.

7. Meet my son or daughter. We expect you to know everything about our baby and please be responsible with his/her attention. Tell us the important results of the tests on the same day. Knows all the data and avoid telling us “tomorrow will tell you your doctor”.

8. Thank our role as mother and father, as we also contribute to the care of our baby. I spend many hours beside my newborn, I extract the milk from my breast, I try to distribute my time with work and caring for my other children, all sleeping little and continuous concern. Please understand and understand all of the above. Because your appreciation towards me in the role of parent -carer, gives me strength to be a good parent.

9.-Do not label me. Remember that you will see in the worst of the circumstance. What is a routine for you, could be our greatest stress, because we have not found as well in life. Avoid the expression “difficult parents” and, in any case, talk about “parents in a difficult situation”. And if you feel the need to complain about a family, do it in private.

10. You need to know (and acknowledge) how important you are to me. I’m putting the life of my newborn in you. Do not underestimate how important you are to our family.

What do you think? Could we adapt it to our adult patients?

Happy Thursday,