Chapter 2: Strategies to assess and engage with families
“In ICU, suddenly the family becomes our new patients and we are taking care of everyone in the room all at once”. – ICU Nurse
In this chapter you will learn strategies for communicating and building relationships with families. Your ability to assess their needs and risks depends on this. As the clinical situation evolves, new stressors may be placed on the family. Ongoing monitoring of how the family is managing and coping with the associated stressors is important. Building a positive relationship will facilitate good communication, and strong trust, both of which can help prevent traumatic grief. As death approaches, the family’s psychosocial needs often exceed those of the patient. Most families will benefit from increasing levels of support. Some of the material presented below will be useful during family meetings.