Research shows that patients want their health providers to:
- imagine themselves in their situation
- speak gently and softly
- talk in a way that inspires hope, and without touching or hugging (Some like it, but others don’t)
Respond to Distress Using the NURSE Technique
The acronym NURSE refers to:
Naming: “I can see this is not what you expected to hear”
Understanding: “I can only imagine how you may be feeling right now. Is there anything you want to talk about?”
Respecting: “You have shown a lot of courage through all this.”
Supporting: “I will be here with you through this.”
Exploring: “Tell me more about what is affecting you.” or “Tell me more about what upsets/scares you the most”.
If you are not sure why they are upset, ask:
- "What were you thinking about just now?"
- "Can you help me understand what made you cry just now?"
- "What’s going through your mind as we talk?"