What You Must Know About Breaking Bad News to Patients

As a physician, one of the challenges you might have frequently encountered is the uncomfortable task of breaking bad news. Formal medical education does not sufficiently offer practical steps on dealing with the emotionally challenging aspects of informing patients about a saddening piece of news.

Bad news is often associated with uncertainty and an extremely uncomfortable situation. In the absence of proper training to handle the task in a mature manner, physicians are at a risk of disengaging from the emotional bond they share with their patients.

However, making an informed attempt to breaking sad news will surely pave the way towards an easy decision-making process for you and your patient. As a competent physician you must ensure that your approach to breaking unfavorable news is frank and direct, while also incorporating a sense of empathy. At times, the successful delivery of sad news necessitates formal training in communication. This ensures that the satisfaction of the patient as well as the comfort of the physician is addressed.

Breaking Bad News is Stressful and Consoling Advice Helps

Even a professional attempt to break unfavorable news can create considerable stress. It is important for you, as the physician to be patient and understanding towards the concerns of your patients. This explains why physicians might find it especially difficult to break bad news during early stages of their career.

Further, when patients who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses like cancer have to be informed about their state of health, patients might make care delivery more complicated because of their emotional concerns.

It is important to know that patients must be informed about the true state of their illness regardless of their reaction. In this respect, when physicians are open, patients are more likely to make better decisions.

Ethical Aspects for Effective Medical Decision Making

Physicians must know about ethical aspects in patient care. Some aspects like patient autonomy and informed consent must be taken into consideration so that bad news is conveyed effectively.

It is imperative for physicians to avoid all attempts of deceiving patients about their health condition. In doing so, physicians must ensure that they are not insensitive and abstain from conveying bad news bluntly.

Such attempts to deliver bad news might lead to hopelessness or have negative implications on the patient’s emotional health and might lead to ethical concerns.

By delivering bad news to patients using an informed and empathetic approach, physicians can ensure that their patients respond well to care, which will help them achieve far better clinical outcomes.…

Prevent Mold! Hygrometer Calibration

I work with hygrometers frequently in my role as a home inspector. Consumer quality hygrometers and / or relative humidity gauges are inexpensive and infamous for inaccurate readings. That is too bad because maintaining the proper relative humidity at your home is a good start in discouraging fungal growth or even mold. Mold may be hard to identify and it is, typically, excluded on home inspection reports. However, if an inspector sees mold he or she will normally mention it. Most experts recommend that relative humidity in a home be maintained between 30% and 50%, with 60% seldom being a cause for concern. You can go online and find hundreds of articles explaining the reasons for this and suggesting optimistic readings for your particular climate. You could also get that information from a university extension service in your area. Once you have that target percentage, customized for your climate and region, the simple procedures below will allow you to make sure that the readings you get from your hygrometer are reasonable and accurate at all times.

Calibrating a Hygrometer:

If you have a digital hygrometer or humidity gauge and wish to accurately calibrate it, without having to purchase expensive manufacturer-supplied salt calibration kits, here is the easy solution. The physics behind this project is simple and reliable: Different salts, when mixed with water to create a sludge or slurry, will generate a consistent and predictable moisture.

Simplified scientific explanation:

A resolved solution at a stable temperature and pressure has a fixed composition and a fixed vapor pressure. Thus, at constant temperature, no matter how much salt and how much water are present, the (RH) relative humidity that is produced is fixed, just as long as both the water and the solid phase are present. So, without the water dries up, or the salt is made so wet that it liquefies, a predetermined humidity can be produced.

It is convenient for us that a solution of ordinary salt mixed with water (preferably distilled water) produces a predictable humidity over a wide range of temperatures. The humidity created, with ordinary salt (Sodium Chloride) and water, is 75.29% at an ideal temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the room is not critical for our purposes. For example, the RH is quite stable even with large variations: Salt solution at 59 degrees Fahrenheit will produce 75.61% RH and at 86 degrees Fahrenheit the RH is 75.09%.

To calibrate the lower end, 33% humidity, Magnesium chloride (a salt) and water is used again. At the ideal temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit, this solution will produce an RH of 32.78%. At 59 degrees Fahrenheit it will produce an RH of 33.30% and at 86 degrees Fahrenheit it will produce 32.44% RH. Once again, "room temperature" is not critical.

Detailed calibration procedures:

With most professional instruments, it is recommended that they are calibrated at both a low point and a higher reference point. For convenience, most manufacturers have selected 75% and 33% RH as the …