After an episode of severe pain, a client says to the nurse, “The pain
really frightened me. I thought I was going to die.” Which statement is the most appropriate response from the nurse?
1. “I understand that pain can be a frightening experience.”
2. “Why were you frightened? You have had pain before.”
3. “There’s no need to be frightened of pain.”
4. “Pain can’t cause you to die. Try to relax.”
The nurse’s most appropriate response is to acknowledge and
validate the client’s concerns. Questioning the client’s fears is not a therapeutic response and can make the client feel defensive. False reassurance that the client should not be afraid disregards the client’s fears and does not promote further communication between the client and nurse. Dismissing the client’s feelings and telling the client to relax do not encourage sharing of feelings.
CN: Psychosocial adaptation; CL: Synthesize