A Study on Hospice Nurses Use of Validation
My team, The Hospice Caregiving Research Network, recently completed a study which looks at how hospice nurses validate and support caregivers of hospice patients. Hospice nurses use many techniques to validate caregivers and I thought I would share some.
What is Validation?
Validation is the practice of listening and recognizing an individual’s distress and acknowledging their “right” to have these feelings. This technique is supported by dialectical behavioral therapy.
What to Say to Caregivers
Dialectical behavioral therapy describes six ways individuals can validate caregivers. These techniques differ in their “level” of support. These statements are simple to use and reassure caregivers that they have been heard.
- Pay Attention. Give the caregiver your undivided attention, look interested, stay focused and respond with verbal and non verbal signs (nodding the head).
- Reflect Back. Restate the thoughts of the caregivers thoughts and feelings indicating that you heard them without being judgmental.
- Read Minds. This is done when you look beyond what is said and hear what is left unsaid.
- Understand. Put your overall experience with the person in context with what they are saying to demonstrate you understand their feelings.
- Recognizing the valid. Acknowledge that most people would have these feelings and thus they are not unusual or out of the ordinary.
In summary, caregivers need to be listened to. We frequently focus on patients and hearing what they have to say and empathizing with their feelings. We can do a simple thing for caregivers, listen and let them know you care.
For more information on the blog post I wrote as a caregiver and my need for validation see Pallimed blog