Having Hopeful Conversations with Patients

To best help your patients, you need to understand what they are going through, and the best way to do that is to have hopeful conversations with them that get them talking.

Having open conversations with your patient is vital to helping them during treatment, but these conversations should not just focus on the specific treatment, but your patient’s overall response to it. At the 3rd Annual School of Nursing Oncology (SONO), Oncology Nursing News had the chance to discuss with Brianna Kirkland, RN, CHPN, director of admissions, IMPACT Palliative, Marketing, at Sangre de Cristo Hospice and Palliative Care, what these hopeful conversations should look like.


It's all about hope, it's hopeful disclosure, hopeful conversations. For example, asking them what a good day looks like for them versus what they are not willing to give up if the interventions they are doing is going to decrease their quality of life to a degree that maybe they weren't able to live in their own home, or be able to walk, or be able to eat. Some of those questions, if you have a really good conversation around them, you'd be surprised about what people are willing to give up and you're also going to be surprised maybe what people aren't willing to give up.

I think it's important as we're being honest with everything for the patient and their families and whoever they chose to have around them during those conversations to really encourage them to take control over what they want versus what we might believe they need.