NURSE statements for articulating empathy

Example Notes
Naming “It sounds like you are frustrated” In general, turn down the intensity a notch when you name the emotion
Understanding “This helps me understand what you are thinking” Think of this as another kind of acknowledgment but stop short of suggesting you understand everything (you don’t)
 Respecting “I can see you have really been trying to follow our instructions” Remember that praise also fits in here eg “I think you have done a great job with this”
 Supporting “I will do my best to make sure you have what you need” Making this kind of commitment is a powerful statement
 Exploring “Could you say more about what you mean when you say that…” Asking a focused question prevents this from seeming too obvious

Three fundamental skills

Example Notes
Tell me more “Tell me more about…” Use when you are not sure what someone is talking about (rather than jump to an assumption).
Ask-tell-ask “What do you think about…”

“Here’s what the tests show”

“Does that make sense…?”

Related to Assess-Knowledge-Respond in SPIKES. Think of this as one unit of information transfer
“I wish” statements “I wish I could say that the chemo always works” Enables you to align with the patient while acknowledging the reality of the situation
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