What To Do When You Have Bad News For Patients

new nurse practitioner tips on the job learning real world topics Feb 07, 2023
An image of a woman smiling in a light pink background with text Delivering Bad News To Patients

Have you had to give a patient bad news? Did you feel prepared or scared? It is a necessary part of being a Nurse Practitioner, and it’s always going to be challenging, but it is better if you are prepared.

Not all bad news is created the same. In some cases, bad news is life changing information, but in other cases, it might be life limiting information. Keeping in mind that patients might not react to news the way that you expect will help you to prepare for the conversation. Our perspective is likely to differ from the patient’s. What we might consider serious news, like a new diagnosis of diabetes, might be catastrophic to the patient. Doing our best to understand and anticipate the patient’s perspective will benefit us both.

How To Deliver Bad News To Your Patient 

This week, we have a video that covers so much of the ins and outs of delivering bad news to your patient. We will talk about all of the things to consider when you have these conversations with your patient. We’ll cover:

  • How to prepare yourself
  • How to prepare the setting
  • How to have the actual conversation with the patient
  • The difference that trauma-informed care can make in having these difficult conversations with patients
  • A framework to guide the experience for you and the patient
  • Some specific language to use in these conversations

Getting and giving bad news is always tough; having a plan for the visit will make a big difference. Develop a plan for follow up and next steps with the patient before you give them the news will also make a big difference. Using as much empathy as you can, keep the patient at the center of the conversation and give space for any emotions that might show up. 

(FYI: to slow down or speed up the audio, hit the gear symbol in the bottom right corner and change it to 0.5x (slower) or 1.5x (faster). Closed captions are also located at the bottom R  corner of the video.)

Resources mentioned in this episode:

CME opportunity available for this video!

Here's how it works:

  1. Click on this CME link: https://earnc.me/ylQTkP 
  2. Answer 2 reflective “nudges” AKA questions about what you learned and how it applies to your practice
  3. Earn 1 hour of AMA PRA Category 1 CME credit! You can download your credits when you’re ready to use them (applicable for AANP, ANCC, and NCCPA certifications!) 

This is a 3-month pilot program to see if this is something that would serve our nurse practitioners and physician associates going forward!  To learn more about how you can access these CME opportunities, go to: https://info.cmefy.com

The CME experience for The Real World NP Podcast, Youtube Channel, and Blog posts is powered by CMEfy - a seamless way for busy clinician learners to discover Internet Point-of-Care Learning opportunities that reward AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s).™ Learn more at http://about.cmefy.com/cme-info 

If you liked this post, also check out:

Accessibility Matters: Read The Full Transcript Here

About The Weekly Episodes

Real World NP publishes weekly relevant, concise weekly bite-sized clinical pearls & practice tips.

Each week, you'll get support and resources to help you save time and frustration and take the best care of their patients possible.

Be sure to hit subscribe so you don't miss an episode!


Most Recent

7 Best Nurse Practitioner Apps

May 16, 2023

Interview with a Pulmonologist

Feb 14, 2023

What To Do When You Have Bad News For Patients

Feb 07, 2023


Get the Ultimate Resource Guide for the New NP

Snag our favorite, time-saving, evidence-based resources to help you take the best care of your patients (while keeping your sanity).

PLUS you'll get weekly bite-sized videos and podcast episodes with relevant clinical tips.

🔒 We never spam you or sell your contact info. Unsub anytime.