Strategies for Supporting an Emotionally Distressed Patient or Family

When hospitalized patients have a severe illness, both the patients and their families are faced with how to balance the burdens, benefits and limitations of treatment, and may respond with strong emotions. It is important to acknowledge and explore these emotions to facilitate quality communication and patient- and family-centeredness of care. Please join us as we discuss various interventions for addressing patient and family emotional distress.

Target Audience

Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Social Workers, Clinical Chaplains, Medical Students and other interested healthcare professionals. 

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the power of emotion and its impact on cognition.
  • Identify and address barriers to effective dialogue between the clinician, patient and family.
  • Utilize empathic communication skills when caring for the emotionally distressed patient and family.
Additional information
  • Curtis, J. R., Engelberg, R. A., Wenrich, M. D., Shannon, S. E., Treece, P. D., & Rubenfeld, G. D. (2005). Missed opportunities during family conferences about end-of-life care in the intensive care unit. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 171(8), 844-849.
  • Selph, R. B., Shiang, J., Engelberg, R., Curtis, J.R., & White, D.B. (2008). Empathy and life support decisions in intensive care units. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 23(9), 1311.
  • Wiseman, T. (1996). A concept analysis of empathy. Journal of advanced nursing, 23(6), 1162-1167
Course Summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.00 General certificate of attendance
  • 1.00 Florida Board of Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors
  • 1.00 Nurse Practitioners
  • 1.00 Florida Board of Nursing
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Rose M. Allen, DNP, MSM/HM, R.N., CHPN, HEC-C
Director, Bioethics Program
Baptist Health South Florida

Conference Director
Ana M. Viamonte Ros, M.D., MPH
Medical Director, Palliative Care and Bioethics Department
Baptist Health South Florida
Associate Professor, Department of Health, Humanities and Society
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Florida International University

Due to the non-clinical nature of the content discussed, the speaker and conference director have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

This CME activity will not cover content that would involve products or services of commercial interests. Therefore, no opportunity exists for a conflict of interest based on the financial relationships of faculty and those persons in control of content. Since these relationships are not relevant, no disclosure information was collected.

Disclosure Policy and Disclaimer

Baptist Health South Florida is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Baptist Health has been re-surveyed by the ACCME and awarded Commendation for 6 years as a provider of CME for physicians.
Baptist Health South Florida designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.00 General certificate of attendance
  • 1.00 Florida Board of Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors
  • 1.00 Nurse Practitioners
  • 1.00 Florida Board of Nursing
Please login or register for a Baptist Health CME account to take this course.

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  • Provide your full name and email address when you register for the webinar.
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The following Florida Boards currently accept webinar participation towards license renewal: Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Dentistry, Psychology, Dietetics, Laboratory Personnel, Nursing, Pharmacy, Respiratory Therapy, Sleep Technology, Social Work and Sonography, as well as the Florida Council of Physician Assistants.

NOTE: Please refer to the activity details page for credit approvals.

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