How do I deal with a dying patient?

The vast majority of patients are, by definition, ill or injured. Every now and then you’ll get a patient with questionable prospects for the future. You’ll want to say something to the patient, but you may wonder what is appropriate in these situations.

You may not have to say anything. Start by listening to the patient’s concerns.

If the patient isn’t talking but looks as if she’d like to, it’s okay to ask “How are you dealing with all this?” “Are you comfortable?” “Is there anything I can do for you?”

Use nonverbal communication. Smile at the patient. Give her hand a quick squeeze or gently hold it. This can do more than words.

The golden rule applies here: Treat the patient how you would want to be treated if the situation were reversed.

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2 Responses to How do I deal with a dying patient?

  1. Anonymous

    for me, this kind of situation is the hardest situation a nurse has to deal…my husband being a registered nurse for 15 years told me so…and I know it’s hard for him cause he really cares about his patients…in fact, he gets a lot of thank you cards/notes from his patients telling him his the best nurse they ever had…

  2. Anonymous

    I think this is the best advice.. just listen. There’s not alot you can say, but your body language and facial expressions are important. Show that you care.