Handy tips for this year's crop of new graduates

As pharmacy and other interns prepare to start their careers, veteran paediatrician and Emeritus Professor Kim Oates imparts some valuable advice that can be applied to anyone who works in healthcare.

  1. Never forget that patients are vulnerable;
  2. Remember that you are a guest in your patient’s illness;
  3. Listen to your patients. “What’s the matter with you?” is a good question, but your care will be better if you also ask, “What matters to you?;
  4. Use simple, clear language with your patients and remember that good communication also involves listening;
  5. Work collaboratively with and learn from nurses and allied health professionals. They have much to teach you;
  6. Admit your mistakes, own up to them, learn from them and use them as opportunities for improvement;
  7. Don’t accept standards and behaviours that aren