A client has recently lost her best friend to cancer. The client tells the nurse, “I’m very sad about the loss of my friend.” Which of the following responses by the nurse is the most appropriate?

  • “I lost my best friend two years ago, but I feel better now.”
  • “It’s important for you to keep busy.”
  • “Why do you feel this way?”
  • “It’s normal to feel loss. Tell me about your friend.”
Number 4 is correct.
Confirming how the client feels confirms the client’s experience. Allowing verbalization of the loss is consistent with therapeutic communication. The first response places the need of the nurse above the client’s. The second response fails to listen to the client. The third response implies disapproval of what the client is saying.