Chapter 2: Strategies to assess and engage with families
“I had a million questions. But I was afraid my questions might be interpreted as being accusatory. I did not want my father’s care to be compromised so I kept quiet”. – Family member
Families may worry about getting in the way, being seen as complainers or taking too much of your time so they may not ask you questions. You can counter this by inviting inquiries.
“Please ask questions at any time. This can be a very confusing time. Part of my job is to help you understand what is happening and I’m happy to help clarify things as much as I can”.
Their questions can help you understand where a family is at, how close they are to accepting the realities of the situation, and what they most need from you.
Daily rounds provide an excellent opportunity to build a valuable relationship. This gives you a chance to meet the family and them a chance to ask questions. Many families appreciate hearing a summary in terms they can understand. Also, keep in mind that some people need time to sit with and process information before asking questions.