How Can a Nurse Provide Emotional Support?

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Nursing is often considered a tough job that requires long hours of standing or sitting at a desk. While it takes a special kind of person to become a nurse, some nurses also get paid to provide emotional support. How can a nurse provide emotional support without being seen as pushy?

You might think nursing care is only about providing medical attention. However, most nurses today are trained in nonmedical fields such as mental health, counseling, and spirituality. They consider themselves healers who want to go beyond their limits to meet the emotional needs of patients.

How Can a Nurse Provide Emotional Support?

A nurse is often the first person a patient and their family contact when they are admitted to the hospital. As a nurse, it is possible to provide emotional support for patients. Although emotions can also play a huge role in healthcare, nurses should never feel uncomfortable or awkward when they see a patient who is crying or upset. There are several ways that nurses can provide emotional support to patients.

Ways to Improve Nurse and Patient Relationships by Providing Emotional Support

Emotions play a major part in both healthcare and nursing. Nurses often experience stress at work because their jobs require them to deal with people experiencing grief and other negative events. It is important that nurses recognize the emotions of patients and respond appropriately. Following are some ways they can use to help patients or their families.

Expand Your Nursing Experience and Knowledge

One way to provide emotional support is to expand your nursing experience and knowledge. By learning about different diseases, compassionate care, nursing skills, conditions, and treatments, you will be better equipped to understand what your patients and their families are going through. This will also allow you to answer any grief questions about their illness or stages of treatment.

In addition, it is crucial to learn about the different stages of grief. Recent research shows that nurses having BSN or RN degrees make significantly fewer errors than nurses without these degrees. Therefore, if you are considering returning to school to get your BSN or RN degree, this may be a good option.

Help Your Patients Deal With the Disease/Trauma

Once you understand the disease or trauma your patient is dealing with, you can begin to help them cope with it. There are many different ways to do this, and it will vary depending on the individual patient.

Some patients may benefit from talking about their disease or injury, while others may prefer to keep it to themselves. It is essential to respect your patients’ wishes and let them talk about their experiences in whatever way they feel comfortable.

You can also help your patients by providing them with information about their disease or injury. This can be done through pamphlets, books, or even websites. If you are unsure where to find this information, ask your supervisor or another health professional for help.

In addition, you can provide your patients with support groups or counseling patient care services. These can be very beneficial for patients struggling to cope with their disease or injury.

Help Them Adjust to Hospital Environment

Many patients find it difficult to adjust to the hospital environment. This is especially true for patients in the hospital for an extended period. Because hospital life differs from home life, it can be challenging for patients to adjust.

As a nurse, you can help your patients adjust to the hospital environment by showing them around the unit and introducing them to the medical staff. You can also help them get settled into their room and ensure they have everything they need.

In addition, you should encourage your patients to get involved in the hospital’s activities and programs. This can help them feel more connected to the hospital and make their stay more enjoyable.

Helping your patients adjust to the hospital environment makes their stay more pleasant and comfortable.

Prepare Them for the Treatment

Another way to provide emotional support is to prepare your patients for the treatment they will be receiving. This can be done by explaining the different procedures and treatments they will be undergoing.

It is also essential to explain the side effects of these treatments so that patients know what to expect. A professional nurse must explain everything and answer all questions for the patient to feel more comfortable.

If a patient is scared to receive a particular treatment, you should cheer them up and tell them everything will be alright. By preparing your patients for their treatment, you can help ease their distress and make them feel more comfortable.

Encourage Them to Express Their Feelings

Many patients feel discouraged or afraid to express their feelings. This is because they are afraid of being seen as weak or crazy. However, patients must express their feelings to cope with their disease or injury.

Patients should talk about their concerns about treatment, how they feel, life & death, and something they do not feel comfortable with. 

As a nurse, you can encourage your patients to express their feelings by listening to them and showing them that you care. You can also provide them with journals or other outlets where they can express their thoughts and feelings.

It is important to encourage your patients to express their feelings safely and healthily. Your role is to give them the support they need.

Keep a Check on Their Mental Wellbeing

When a patient stays in the hospital for extended times, taking medications regularly, injections, and all other stuff that a patient has to go through, it might affect their mental wellbeing.

It is vital to keep a check on your patients’ mental wellbeing. This can be done by observing their behavior and mood. If you notice that a patient is starting to withdraw or become depressed, you must talk to them about it.

There are many ways to help a patient struggling with their mental well-being. You can refer them to a counselor or therapist or talk to them about their feelings.

Keeping Them Company

One of the best ways to provide emotional support is simply by keeping your patient company. This can be done by talking to them, playing games, or watching TV.

Many patients feel isolated and alone when they are in the hospital. Keeping them in the company can help them feel more connected and less alone.

Provide Emotional Support for Patient’s Family

It is not only the patients who need emotional support but their families as well. Families often have difficulty coping with a loved one’s illness or injury.

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I’m Ready to Thrive

As a nurse, you can provide emotional support to a patient’s family by listening to their concerns and providing them with information and resources. You can also help them connect with other families in similar situations.

Here are a few ways to provide emotional support for your patient’s family:

  • Take the time to listen. Families often want someone to lend a listening ear; to let them know that you are here for them and willing to talk through anything they need to talk about.
  • Show compassion. It can be challenging to see a loved one go through a severe medical experience, so offer words of encouragement and hope when appropriate. Simply conveying that you understand what they are going through can be incredibly supportive.
  • Help them connect with others. Support groups are often available for families dealing with a loved one’s illness or injury. If possible, help your patient’s family connect with others who understand what they are going through.
  • Offer practical assistance. If the family struggles to juggle everything, offer to help with things like childcare, cooking, or transportation.
  • Be a resource. Families often have many questions when a loved one is sick or injured. If you can, provide them with information and resources about their loved one’s condition and treatment.

The care of families is an important thing a nurse should never ignore. Some families may show emotion while others may not show any emotion at all.

Preparing to Leave the Hospital

After the treatment has been completed and the patient is ready to go home, it is vital to provide them with precautions and advice on preventing themselves from getting sick again.

You can tell the patient what medications to take, what diet to follow, and what exercises to do. You should also provide them with a list of emergency numbers in case they have any problems.

It is also essential to schedule a follow-up appointment with the doctor to monitor the patient for any changes in their condition.

Ending Thoughts

As a nurse, you can provide emotional support for your patients in many different ways. By keeping them company, listening to their concerns, and providing them with information and resources, you can help make their hospital stay more bearable.

You can also provide emotional support for their families by taking the valuable time to listen to their concerns and offering practical assistance. After the patient has been discharged, you can prepare them for their return home by providing them with information on how to prevent themselves from getting sick again.


What Is Emotional Support Provided by Nurses?

The emotional support nurses provide refers to the aspect of care and assistance given to patients to manage their emotions during their hospital stay. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as keeping the patient company, listening to their concerns, and providing them with information and resources.

Why Is Emotional Support Important for Nurses?

Emotional support is vital for nurses because it can help patients cope with their emotions during critical times. This type of support can also help families deal with the stress of a loved one’s illness or injury. 

How Do You Provide Emotional Support to the Elderly?

You can do a few things to provide emotional support to the elderly. First, listen to them when they speak. Show that you care about what they have to say and their experiences. Second, be patient with them. They may not process information as quickly as you do or have the same energy level, so it’s essential to be understanding. Lastly, try to keep things positive. Remind them of all the good things in their life and help them focus on the present moment.

Why Is Emotional Support Important for Patients?

Emotional support is vital for patients because it can help them feel more connected to their doctors and care team, evoke positive emotional responses, and facilitate communication. Research has shown that patients who receive emotional support from their doctors and care teams have better outcomes, including reduced anxiety and depression, improved morale, quicker recoveries from surgery, and even increased survival rates.

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