Managing Treatment Expectations: Turn the Patient Back to a Person

Nurses and other care providers should not assume that they know what a patient wants when it comes to expectations for their treatment.

Brianna Kirkland, RN, CHPN, director of admissions, IMPACT Palliative, Marketing, Sangre de Cristo Hospice and Palliative Care, discusses the importance of understanding patients' preferences and treatment expectations. She discussed this important topic at the 3rd Annual School of Nursing Oncology (SONO) meeting.


Managing treatment expectations is a very important part of not only healthcare, but especially when you're dealing more with the chronically ill patient, including the latter part of life. So in my presentation, it really highlights the importance of being able to recognize those types of patients and then being able to maybe treat them a little bit differently than you might in a normal practice. Identify what their preferences are, such as their family, cultural, religious preferences, and the importance of those aspects.

Also, talk to them about advanced care planning and how they want their journey to play out, versus how we might think or assume that they might want their healthcare to go. It's really trying to turn the patient back into a person, which I think is a really important part of healthcare in general.

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