Breaking News to Patients: Tips for Managing Reactions - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-09-17
Breaking News to Patients: Tips for Managing Reactions - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Health and Social Care Nursing Medicine Healthcare
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 626 words
6 min read


I can use this experience by always being prepared to handle all the possible reactions both from the family members and myself. After breaking the news to my patient, I will try as much as possible to avoid being angry, guilty, or take the blame for the action. I believe, by encouraging the people involved, it can be quite easy to discuss all the issues to be faced. As stated by Wachterman et al. (2016), I would encourage more honest discussions with patients to establish their understanding level and also inform the carers to reassure them about the underlying health conditions and even accept the reality of the potential outcomes. In my nursing practice, I feel it will eliminate such feelings of negative reactions, including self-blame, but demonstrate a full knowledge of the situation. This case would hugely impact my apprehensiveness to the bad news of such nature. I would not feel helpless but capable of doing something to relieve the pain.

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Communication Skills Learned

Because this was my first time seeing such a case, it provided an opportunity to learn the right non-verbal and verbal communication skills that I can use to break the sad news to the patient’s family members. I feel the nurse used an honest, respectful, and open means of communication as it had happened during the past consultations. I can apply these skills by keeping my emotions under control and preparing my strength to support anyone seeking healthcare to respond to any news. Wachterman et al. (2016) emphasized that trust is a fundamental factor for developing successful relationships as a healthcare professional, and other caregivers or patients. In this instance, using touch, maintaining eye contact, and listening keenly to the family, I believe, can readily comfort and help the other family members to relax and reduce tension.

Ethical Dilemmas in This Experience

Of course, I saw various ethical considerations in this situation of end life. The nurse saw such an aspect to be of great importance and addressed the right of the patients to know the autonomy of the diagnosis. Even though it would be challenging for me as a nurse to protect conveying the end of life experience, Wachterman et al. (2016) agreed that this optimistic attitude of involving the family members in the discussion amidst the poor results would be a good move. If I participated in this case, I would have handled everything as the nurse did it. I understand breaking such bad news is the most challenging task, but then it is necessary to handle opinions professionally. Oopinionincorporating sensitivity and empathy will justify the ethical as the opinion of this situation.

My Opinion About Death

This end-of-life simulation experience has deepened my opinion about death and dying. The incident provided me with a valuable learning opportunity to understand what to do when handling grieving families who I handled their patients. If I encountered a similar case in the future during practice or in personal life, I would desire to be much prepared in dealing with the news, as suggested by Wachterman et al. (2016). I learned that being prepared to face reality is essential, especially, I would need to select the most suitable environment for breaking the news. Instead of relying only on verbal communication skills, I would get myself more knowledgeable on the usefulness of non-verbal approaches, especially touch, when it is appropriate for the family. I also established a better awareness regarding the ethical considerations surrounding such situations, and why showing respect, being honest and open with both the patient and everyone else involved.


Wachterman, M. W., Pilver, C., Smith, D., Ersek, M., Lipsitz, S. R., & Keating, N. L. (2016). Quality of end-of-life care provided to patients with different serious illnesses. JAMA internal medicine, 176(8), 1095-1102.

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