This week's blog post is brought to you by guest blogger:

Christie A., CPTS Nurse Outreach Coordinator

What do we say, as nurses to a patient or family who has just received a life altering diagnosis or suffered a traumatic injury?  This can be something that all healthcare workers struggle with from time-to-time.   Is it enough to just let someone know you are there for them to hold their hand or sit and listen as they talk?  


As nurses, I feel like we focus so much on  the “doing” piece of patient care that it may not feel right to  just be present and sit with our patients, offering emotional support as opposed to hands on care. Dr. Elaine Meyer reflects on this in her TEDx talk encouraging nurses to be “present, not perfect.”  Difficult conversations in healthcare happen on a daily basis.   As we go about our day, providing care to our patients and families we must realize that we do not need to be perfect in what we say when faced with a difficult topic or situation.  Sometimes just being there to listen or offer a hand to hold is the best response.  


The D-E-F protocol can guide your care and help you to be more present for your patients.  There are tool and resources available to help you address worries and fears with your patients, provide emotional support and help families through stressful times.  Remember, after the ABC’s of basic care try DEF. 


Join the conversation on Facebook and share how you stay present with your patients.