All About Nursing · Hospice & Palliative Care

“NURSE” -the American Association of Critical Care Nurse’s Therapeutic Communication Tool

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:

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All About Nursing · Hospice & Palliative Care

Complicated Grief – the feelings after a loss of the loved one

Complicated grief is when the feelings of loss are debilitating and do not improve after a long amount of time passes. There is no set amount of time that one moves through the stages of grief; however, there is general movement toward growth and healing in a normal grief experience. A generally accepted amount of time is one year. In complicated grief, the painful emotions are so consuming that the individual has trouble recovering from the loss to resume their life. In the beginning months after a loss, normal grief and complicated grief appear very similar; however, complicated grief will likely worsen instead of gradually fade.

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All About Nursing · Hospice & Palliative Care

Anxiety, Depression, Caregiver Burnout, Grief, Anger, Frustration in End of Life Care

Anxiety

  • According to the DSM-5, anxiety disorders are those that share features of excessive anxiety and fear with related behavioral disturbances.
  • These disorders differ from normal fear and anxiety in their being excessive and persisting beyond developmentally appropriate periods, typically lasting 6 months or more
  • Types of anxiety:
    1. Separation anxiety – anxiety or fear about separation from an attachment figure
    2. Selective mutism- consistent failure to speak in social situations
    3. Social anxiety – fear or anxiety about social interactions or situations
    4. Panic disorder -recurrent panic attacks
    5. Phobias- fear of a specific object or situation
    6. Generalized anxiety disorder- persistent or excessive anxiety and worry about various domains.
  • Treatment:
    • Nonpharmacological interventions
      1. Establish a trusting relationship
      2. Be aware of any anxiety that you as a nurse may have that may be picked up on
      3. Do not leave a person experiencing an anxiety disorder exacerbation alone
      4. Maintain a calm, nonthreatening, manner-of-fact approach
      5. Keep stimuli minimized
      6. Use simple words and brief messages that are calmly and clearly explained
      7. Discuss the reality of the situation
      8. Include person on decision-making to feel more in control
      9. Encourage exploration of underlying feelings that contribute to irrational fears
      10. Teach and reinforce stress management /relaxation techniques
    • Pharmacological interventions
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