Delivering sad news to patients that includes discussing end-of-life options can be very difficult for the patient, their family members, and you. Here are some key tips in helping prepare for the conversation:
Do not rush the conversation.
Hold the discussion in a private, quiet place where everyone can be seated comfortably to participate in the conversation.
Discuss the patients’ diagnosis, including what the patient understands and the expected prognosis.
Discuss the differences between palliative care and hospice care and engage the patient and their family in a thoughtful conversation about which course of action is best for the patient.
Become familiar with your local hospital’s Palliative Care team and how to refer to them.
Advanced directives by state
Identify the patient’s goals for end-of-life care and discuss their advanced directives. If they do not have an advanced directive, encourage them to make one.