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Top 10 Tips For Breaking Bad News

Filed in Nursing News by on June 13, 2016

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Top 10 Tips For Breaking Bad News. No one looks forward to it, but from time to time, most nurses are confronted with having to deliver bad news. Here are our top 10 tips to do it the best way for your patient, and for you. If you have any tips you’d like to add, please do so in the comments.

nurses hatLearn the facts

Be as familiar with the facts as you possibly can be before talking with them. Read the notes, discuss with the multidisciplinary team.

Let them get prepared

What do they already know? Is this a complete shock? Start off with “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you…” so they can get prepared.

Honesty first

People usually prefer honesty. Honesty also applies to your knowledge of what will happen. “I don’t know” is preferable to “I’m sure it will be OK.”

Give them some privacy

Find an environment where you can have some privacy. If this just involves closing the curtains, so be it.

Don’t rush

Ensure you will not be disturbed. Tell colleagues what you are doing. Don’t look as if you are in a rush to move on.

Look after them afterwards

Think about what will happen straight afterwards. Can someone sit with them? Are family members due in? Can you tell them with family members present?

Speak plainly

Make it as clear as possible. Don’t use jargon or hide behind fancy terminology. Give them as much opportunity to interrupt and ask questions as you can.

Make contact

Hold their hand, or at least touch their arm if you aren’t a hand holder.

Give them support

Reassure them that you and the rest of the team are there for them.

Don’t put it off.

If you have something to say and all the above is done to the best of your ability, just get on with it.

Source: Britainsnurse

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