Communication Challenges

You Don't Say: Knowing When to Just Listen to Patients, Families Trying to Cope

You Don't Say: Knowing When to Just Listen to Patients, Families Trying to Cope

When patients and families are holding on to what you don't say, they may use combativeness and being argumentative to keep you — and your words — from bringing them to accept the unacceptable.

The Great Cancer Masquerade: When Grief Manifests as Anxiety, Control, Anger

The Great Cancer Masquerade: When Grief Manifests as Anxiety, Control, Anger

Grief over a loved one's impending death may manifest as other emotions or difficult-to-manage behavior. This month's column describes how families may express their grief as anxiety about their loved one's care, an attempt to take control of the situation, or anger toward the clinicians involved in their loved one's care.

The Impact of Minimizing a Cancer Diagnosis

The Impact of Minimizing a Cancer Diagnosis

Seeing another patient's situation as worse may be a coping mechanism for some patients with cancer, but those patients need to be reminded not to diminish their own disease and treatment.

Helping Oncology Nurses Cope When Nothing More Can Be Done for the Patient

Helping Oncology Nurses Cope When Nothing More Can Be Done for the Patient

A challenging patient case illustrates how caring for each other enables oncology nurses to provide better patient care.

When Noncompliance With Cancer Treatment Isn't Really Noncompliance

When Noncompliance With Cancer Treatment Isn't Really Noncompliance

The patient seemed to demonstrate typical noncompliance behaviors. Until one day her appearance suggested another explanation, prompting an investigation that revealed a surprising cause.

The Bounty of Failure: A Well-Versed Nursing Experience

The Bounty of Failure: A Well-Versed Nursing Experience

How long were you a nurse before you felt competent? Reflections on creating an atmosphere of learning and growing from our own mistakes.

When Words Soothe but Actions Frazzle: Keeping Your Patient Communications Consistent

When Words Soothe but Actions Frazzle: Keeping Your Patient Communications Consistent

At what point is attentiveness being too nice? Ann Brady discusses how her words followed the patient's wishes, but her actions prompted an unexpected question.

What Does It Take to Make a Miracle Happen?

What Does It Take to Make a Miracle Happen?

Reflecting on the 2 meanings of this simple word helps explain the nuances of communicating with cancer patients and their families at pivotal points of care.

To What End? Helping Patients and Families Face a Juncture in the Cancer Care Continuum

To What End? Helping Patients and Families Face a Juncture in the Cancer Care Continuum

Are the difficult questions easier to answer when the patient still has treatment options available? Ann Brady talks about helping patients and families navigate the changes in disease and care.

Helping Families Cope With Cancer-related Anorexia and Cachexia

Helping Families Cope With Cancer-related Anorexia and Cachexia

Loss of appetite and not eating are difficult aspects of cancer for patients' loved ones to understand. Continued and diligent nurse education can help both patients and families cope with this disturbing effect.

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