Ask an NP – Tips for Difficult Conversations

by Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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    00:01 So when you're having conversations that might be perceived as uncomfortable, whether you're talking about like sex, death, substance use, I have found it very helpful to first warn people that you're entering into a conversation that might make them uncomfortable and explaining why you're going to have it.

    00:15 Hey, the next step, I'm going to ask you some questions about your sexual life or sexual history, anything like that.

    00:22 And the reason I'm doing that is because that can have a huge impact on your health, okay? And prepping them ahead of time with something even as simple as that makes them realize you're not just being nosy and weird, and gives them a shift in the conversation and provides you a way to segue, right? Because a lot of times the question before that was something as benign as like, do you have allergies? And it's hard for people, especially if they don't know you to like, bridge that gap.

    00:44 So I found warning people ahead of time or even asking if it's a conversation about something like death? Do you want to have this at a different date and learning how you can be reimbursed for types of appointments for that? Because you can actually have appointments just about end of life planning and care? And do you want other people here with you for those conversations, warning them that they're happening, and just preparing for them makes it a lot better, and then practicing in the mirror until you're comfortable talking about it? Because if you're comfortable asking the questions, and you've prepped it ahead of time, so the person doesn't feel caught off guard, you being comfortable is honestly the next biggest thing in talking about it because if you're uncomfortable, they're going to feel uncomfortable.

    01:25 But if you just have really open clear communication, and you don't talk in circles, so don't use euphemisms to talk about something, just ask the direct question, and you're gonna get more direct honest answers from people who are a little bit more comfortable talking to you.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Ask an NP – Tips for Difficult Conversations by Elizabeth Russ, FNP is from the course Ask an NP: Elizabeth Russ, FNP.

    Author of lecture Ask an NP – Tips for Difficult Conversations

     Elizabeth Russ, FNP

    Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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