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Health Literacy Staff Guide

Registrar truly listens to patient and takes the time to communicate the information the patient needed to hear

In Adam's treatment of his young terminally ill patient, he displayed every Melbourne Health value and more. He listened, even when his patient was bewildered, angry, hostile, tearful, rebellious, disbelieving and ultimately accepting. He was candid yet intuitive to the gravity of information he had to give to his young patient. He gave him the time he required to digest such devastating news and continued to support, comfort and reassure his patient through his last days. He kept the family informed of their loved ones precarious health condition. This put the family at ease in an otherwise unimaginable situation. He was very inclusive of the nursing staff and allied health team to assist with his patient’s care. Adam went above and beyond to ensure the patient’s end of life wishes were granted: He arranged for a Richmond football player to visit him in hospital, as well as obtained a Richmond signed jumper; facilitated a visit to Eureka Towers and Aquarium with his family; and a visit home to see his beloved car for the last time. All achieved within the last two weeks of his patient’s short life. Adam’s care for his patient was inspiring to all who were fortunate enough to witness it. He ensured this young gentleman’s final days were the best days they could possibly be.  I only wish in my final days that there is an Adam Steinberg looking out for me.

Story shared with the permission of Adam Steinberg, Nephrology Registrar.

Points to note:

  •  Understanding individuals: The registrar took the time to work with a disturbed young patient to communicate to the patient the information he needed to hear, and to support and comfort him as well as provided him with the opportunity to do some things that were very special to him.
  •  Skilled health care teams: He was inclusive with the nursing and allied health staff so they could work as a team.
  •  Actions for partnering: The registrar communicated to family just how ill the young person was and provided the opportunity for everyone to work together.