Following an unexpected adverse event, including those related to COVID-19, fear, confusion and uncertainty are all common feelings to experience. As healthcare staff navigate these situations, they should have tools to help them communicate with family members after delivering difficult news. When equipped with an empathic approach, caregivers can prevent further harm and minimize moral injury.
It is important to keep emotional first-aid at the forefront of these interactions. This approach takes courage, vulnerability and empathy, and ultimately serves to help others feel listened to and understood. To help you navigate these conversations, we have prepared an easy to reference guide that highlights nine ways you can provide emotional support to patients and families.