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April 2005, Volume 35 Number 4 , p 14 - 14



© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 35(4)             April 2005             p 14 Tough talk [ADVICE, P.R.N.: COMMUNICATION]

A nurse I work with, “Carol,” prides herself on speaking frankly with her patients. She means well, but sometimes her comments sound harsh. For example, she told one patient with heart failure that his wife was in denial about his condition and that he should “set her straight” about his poor prognosis so she could plan for her future. This patient, who's still in fairly good health, later told me he didn't appreciate being told how to talk to his own wife .

I like Carol and respect her values, but I don't think comments like these help patients or families communicate better. Any advice? —N.R., ALBERTA

You're right to be concerned when a colleague's good intentions go awry. Help Carol understand that how ...

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