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When Something Happens – Ask Questions First

                      Ambulance rushing to the scene of accident.


You are sitting in the ER. You got a call from the Police tonight.  “Someone you love has been in a car accident. They are in the hospital. Please come. Your name was in their wallet” 

Here are some questions to ask at the beginning that might help.

If you can, take notes:

Can you say what happened – just the facts?

  • Who was there? Who was not there?
  • What exactly occurred?
  • Where did it occur?
  • How long did it take from beginning to end?
  • What was done? In what sequence?
  • What medicines, drugs or procedures were used, or not used?
  • What can family and friends do to help?

What do you know for sure right now?

  • What don’t you know yet?
  • What is stable right now?
  • What might change?
  • Who is taking care of the situation right now?

After the person affected is stable, and maybe admitted to hospital, under observation, or readied for transfer to another facility for care, then it is time for another set of questions. With all the information gathered that you can find, these might be some of the next questions to ask:

So what are the next potential steps for the affected person(s)?

  • And what are the next possible steps for the family?
  • Who can help us make good choices and show us all the options?
  • What are the pros and cons of the options available?

Now what do we have to do to take action on the part of the affected person(s)?   

  • What forms need to be completed, what people need to be seen?
  • Are there financial implications to be aware of?
  • Is there a personal directive in place? If so, who is the Agent?
  • How can family and friends help?

With questions like these, you can be better prepared to adapt to whatever comes, as the answers will guide your next questions.  Think about What? So What? Now What as a cycle of learning, planning and action, so you can keep moving forward, hope filled and able to see ahead to the next horizon. 


                      Adaptive Action cycle: What? So what? Now What? Next What?

Posted in Coaching, Patient Advocacy

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