How do I deal with anxious family members?

Family members can be as scared as any patient. All the kinfolk want is for their family member to be all right. Because family members usually have no medical training, they will feel that the situation is out of their control. This feeling breeds fear. And fear can breed an inordinate amount of Internet searching and half-baked medical knowledge that can create even more confusion.

The best way to deal with a scared family member is with empathy, politeness and respect. If you’re comfortable doing this, feel free to hug them, console them and answer their questions if possible. You might not know the answers, but you can try and find out for them.

Don’t be afraid to befriend the family. It will help them through their troubled time. Of course, don’t let scared family members get in the way of your pressing duties.

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3 Responses to How do I deal with anxious family members?

  1. Anonymous

    From the perspective of someone who has seen my own family freak out over one of our children being admitted to the hospital with RSV, I can say that this is totally the way to handle that situation. It’s really important for the medical community to remember to handle irrational, upset and even somewhat angry family members with a lot of respect and empathy…. even when the doctor is right! lol

  2. Anonymous

    I think this is great advice not only for the family, but for the patient as well. When the family is reassured and knows they have someone to fall back on, it will reflect on the patient.

    Y’all are doing great work!


  3. Anonymous

    having raised five kids, i am no stranger to hospital confinement and the anxiety i feel every time one of them was confined. i agree that a show of empathy would help an anxious mom/dad a lot but i also feel that a straight forward explanation regarding the illness and course of treatment would also help alleviate undue worries.