W - Wait

This is an important step.  It is very tempting for doctors to continue talking right after delivering the bad news.  The silence and emotion is often very uncomfortable for the doctor.  However, one way of validating patients’ emotion is to let them express it.  As well, after you have delivered the news, the patient will not hear anything else that you have said until they are ready to move on.  Before you begin speaking again, wait for a cue that they are ready to continue.  They may ask a question or make eye contact with you again.