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ICU through their Eyes


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Emotion is always present in critical conversations. When we recognize emotion, validate feelings and respond with empathy and curiosity, we allow patients and their families to engage in the process, to build trust, and to better understand their values. When emotions are too intense, or feelings are not validated, people become disengaged, less trusting, and often fail to explore and understand the deeper values— and instead may act on raw, surface emotions that actually may not be in their best interest.
We often answer feelings with facts. Instead, we should G.I.V.E. when we encounter emotion. G.I.V.E. is a mnemonic tool that offers a simple approach to responding when emotion arises in conversations. First, get that there is emotion present and pause. Identify what you think the emotion might be or describe what behaviors you are noticing. Validate the feelings expressed. Explore to understand better and offer your curiosity and caring. And if you can't remember what G.I.V.E. is prompting you to do, it may be enough to give your attention and patience to the other person in that moment.

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ICU through their Eyes

  1. 1. Through Their Eyes 2019 SMACC Laura K. Rock, MD
  2. 2. “I think I messed up with a patient today” 1. Don’t worry about it- I’m sure you did fine 2. Maybe you should get another job 3. You can’t avoid that with the number of patients you see 4. Well, my day was even worse… 5. That’s tough. Do you feel like talking?
  3. 3. We answer feelings with facts.
  4. 4. When you recognize emotion: GIVE Get it’s emotion Go there- drop your agenda. Just listen. Connection, not information. Identify the emotion or behaviors Can I check in with you? It looks like you weren’t expecting this news. I’m noticing you’re quieter than usual today. Validate by acknowledging feelings This must be overwhelming. I hear you’re worried. I’m worried too. Explore to understand better Tell me more. What is worrying you the most? I think it can be helpful to talk. Would you mind telling me what’s on your mind?