Communication Challenges

'Are We There Yet? How Much Longer?': Deciphering Patients' Persistent Questions

'Are We There Yet? How Much Longer?': Deciphering Patients' Persistent Questions

How do you answer when the patient or family asks, "What is next?" More importantly, though, you need to recognize if they are asking that question, or is there something else they are really asking.

How Keep/Stop/Start Analysis Can Improve Nursing Practice

How Keep/Stop/Start Analysis Can Improve Nursing Practice

This simple framework for communicating can be adapted to fit each situation, regardless of it being a nurse-to-patient or a nurse-to-nurse setting.

Too Much Information: When Prognosis Breaks Down Patient Communications

Too Much Information: When Prognosis Breaks Down Patient Communications

Overwhelmed by her poor prognosis, a patient with a newly diagnosed advanced cancer cuts off communicating with her health care team.

Medical Terms in Patient Education: Using the Confusing to Explain the Complicated

Medical Terms in Patient Education: Using the Confusing to Explain the Complicated

Medical terminology can be a foreign language — or confusing, at the least — for many patients. Ann Brady uses a patient encounter to illustrate the potential miscommunication inherent in using "medicalese" in patient communication.

When There Are No Words: Interpreting Patients' and Families' Subtle Messages

When There Are No Words: Interpreting Patients' and Families' Subtle Messages

Although many physical expressions are universal, oncology nurses may be challenged to catch notice of more subtle body language from patients or a family member.

WWW: Navigating Complex Conversations Regarding Patients With Advanced Disease

WWW: Navigating Complex Conversations Regarding Patients With Advanced Disease

WWW is not for the world-wide web, but it is an easy way to remember the 3 w's of communication with patients with advanced disease: wish, worry, wonder.

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.

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 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.

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