Each week we select 3 articles to feature on our Recommended Reading list. We rotate the items on this list so there are always 10 articles available – and they are all free to read! It’s fun for me to choose these articles for several reasons – first, I get to do a lot of reading, but most of all, because I do think about what I’m “hearing” here on our blog, out there on our social media pages, and in real-life discussions with my nursing friends, when I select the articles to include each week. We also select 3 continuing education articles to include on our Recommended CE list, and remember, all of our CE articles can be read online free!

A hot topic lately, and one that is dear to me, is communication. Interactions with both patients and our colleagues are so important for outcomes and patient and staff satisfaction. We know that patients trust us, we know that we know our patients well, and we know that we are important members of the healthcare team. One of our current featured articles, Facilitating Goals-of-Care Discussions for Patients With Life-Limiting Disease—Communication Strategies for Nurses, has a great section with the heading Nurses' Special Relationship With Patients: 

“For those with a life-limiting illness, nurses are the "constant" in their journey through a frequently fragmented healthcare system. The nurse becomes familiar with the patient's medical history, health status changes, "behind the scenes" discussions of the team, family dynamics, and expressions of thoughts, concerns, and values. Thoughtful communication is essential throughout the trajectory. As the nurse builds a relationship based on trust and consistency, he/she may be viewed as "more approachable" than others in the healthcare team and, as a consequence, be part of informal discussions with patients and families. Therefore, the nurse is well positioned to facilitate discussions focused on goals of care and treatment choices in the setting of a progressive debilitating illness.”

We do have special relationships with our patients. They are relationships that allow us into patients' lives during critical times, they are relationships that allow us to advocate for our patients, and they are relationships that allow us to provide the best possible nursing care to our patients. I hope you enjoy this article and the others on our Recommended Reading lists! 

Happy Reading Laughing

Reference

Peereboom, K., & Coyle, N. (2012). Facilitating Goals-of-Care Discussions for Patients With Life-Limiting Disease—Communication Strategies for Nurses. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 14(4).