- Make sure it’s a quiet place free from distraction. Turn phones off, alert the staff or potential visitors to the need for privacy.
- Close the door/ pull the curtain, find a separate room.
- Don’t push the conversation. Assess the comfort level of the individual, as it may be necessary to ask some family members for a few minutes alone.
- Pull up a Chair – sit at eye level to the individual you are speaking with.
- Assess what the individual/family already know & understand.
- Ask their views about the current situation.
- Discuss with the individual their overall hopes and goals for the remainder of time they will be living.
- Review treatment options and preferences.
- Be prepared for emotions.
- Do not overwhelm the individual/family with too much information in one sitting.
- Share small pieces at a time, be sure the individual wants details before you provide them.
- Pause to allow for questions or clarification, such as: Is this making sense to you? Do you understand what has been explained so far?
- Discuss decisions that may need to be made now or in the near future.
- Summarize the main points.
- Incorporate the individual and family’s concerns and viewpoints.
- Review additional information that is needed.
- Identify coping strategies and sources of support.
- Make a plan to follow-up or meet again as appropriate.
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