The American Association of Critical Care Nurse’s therapeutic communication tool “NURSE” is an empathy tool when having emotional conversations to help guide the conversation to convey empathy and to elicit more information:
- Name what the other person just said.
- Let them know that you Understand how they are feeling, or that you that you may not know how they are feeling.
- Express your Respect for how they are handling themselves in this situation.
- Show them how you can provide Support for them.
- Explore this situation further with an open-ended conversation.
Sometimes it is hard to know what to say to someone experiencing grief. The most important thing is to be there and to listen. It is important to not push out own experiences onto a patient or family member who is grieving. Grief is a very individual experience, and as healthcare professionals, we must remember that we may not experience what out patients and family members experience, and we can still provide emotional support as needed and be a listening ear.