This is a challenging time for everyone, but it is particularly difficult due to the limited visitation policy of our critically-ill patients in our hospital and their loved ones. Your outreach can help more than you know.
While our clinical team is caring for the needs of the patient, we are focusing on the needs of the caregiver.
Purpose of Outreach
1. Show care, empathy and support
2. Provide resources
3. Proactively manage issues, concerns, or complaints
4. Help ensure appropriate clinical communication
5. Allow clinical team to concentrate on care of patient
Requirements of Role
o All patient and caregiver information is confidential
Delete/shred all materials with identifying information
Do not discuss conversations unless necessary to do assigned job
Avoid asking questions related to patient’s clinical diagnosis
o Your role is to focus on the needs of the Caregiver
o Make calls from quiet area with no background noise
o Be aware of your tone
o Avoid long sentences
o Listen more than you talk and do not interrupt
o Use active listening skills
o Respect boundaries
o Be patient
• Demonstrate empathy and support
o Focus on what you can do
Listen without judgment
Provide appropriate referrals
o Avoid defensiveness
• You will be sent an xl spreadsheet of your outreach calls containing:
o Patient name
o Location of Patient
o Patient’s Emergency Contact
o Phone number of Emergency Contact
• Using script, call each family contact and summarize your encounter in rl solutions computer application. You will be trained.
• Patricia will refer or escalate issues as appropriate
• Introduce yourself and your role in supporting the family caregivers of our patients
o While our clinical team takes care of your loved-one, I am here to support you
o I’m checking in and see how you are doing
o Are you receiving regular updates from the clinical team?
o How often do you receive those updates?
o Does (patient) have any special needs or requests that I can help with?
o Are there spiritual or religious needs, such as a Chaplain visit, that I can arrange for you?
o I have a list of resources that may be helpful to you. May I have your e-mail address so I can send them to you? (template on page 4)
o Is there anything I can do for you at this time? You may reach out to the Caregiver Center at 914 493 6800 9 to 5:30 Daily
Tips and Guidance
Your role is not to comfort; it is to provide support. What that support is will be different for every family based on their needs. Helping with meeting a caregiver’s basic, practical needs can often be the biggest help. Take your cues from the caregiver, and follow some basic tips that will help through the conversation:
• Acknowledge that you can’t imagine how they are feeling. People don’t want you to pretend you understand (because you don’t, even if you’ve had a similar experience) and they will appreciate your honesty about how unique and challenging this situation is. You want to empathic. Watch Brene Brown video on empathy, and how it differs from sympathy.
• Ask them what they need. It may be helpful to give them options when you frame the question.
• Show genuine caring and compassion. There isn’t a perfect thing to say, so no need to stress. Instead, focus on treating the loved one with compassion. Sometimes this is as simple as asking how the person is doing and then listening to what they have to say.
• Actively listen. Talking to someone who will simply listen is often exactly what a caregiver needs. You may feel like you need to provide answers, but usually just having the opportunity to talk can help someone organize their thoughts and feelings.