Chapter 4 – Communication Stations


The different scenarios that can be covered in a communication station are vast.

Common themes revolve around: conflict resolution; difficult referral/conversation and breaking bad news.

Other scenarios that have come up include obtaining consent; managing a patient with a needle stick; the CDU ward round; a major incident and departmental flow.

Pay attention to

  • Body language – what messages are you sending to your patient and are they sending to you
  • Silence is golden (but feels uncomfortable – count to 10 before speaking after breaking bad news)
  • Let the patient speak
  • Involve the patient/other specialty  in decision making
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep
  • Try to remain calm

Common Scenarios

Complaints/Angry patient or relatives

Conflict Resolution

Difficult Referral

Difficult Conversation

Breaking Bad News – New Diagnosis

Breaking Bad News – Death of a Patient

CDU/Short Stay Ward Handover

Major Incident

Major Incident Concepts

Major Incident Management

Other Scenarios


Departmental Overcrowding/Queues

Obtaining Consent

Cite this article as: Trudie Pestell, "Chapter 4 – Communication Stations," in St.Emlyn's, March 24, 2021,

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