A client’s wife arrives on the nursing unit 6 hours after her husband’s caraccident, explaining that she has been out of town. She is distraught because she was not with her husband when he was admitted. The nurse should first:
1. Allow her to verbalize her feelings and concerns.
2. Describe her husband’s medical treatment since admission.
3. Explain the nature of the injury and reassure her that her husband’s condition is stable.
4. Reassure her that the important fact is that she is here now.
Verbalizing feelings and concerns helps decrease anxiety and allows the family member to move on to understanding the current situation. Describing events or explaining equipment is appropriate when the person is not distraught and is ready to learn. Reassuring the family member does not allow verbalization of feelings and discounts the person’s feelings.
CN: Psychosocial adaptation; CL: Synthesize