Patient Centered Care

  • Always ask permission:
  • Always ask permission.
    • “Would you like some company?” “Can we talk?”
    • “Is it ok if I sit next to you?”
    • “How can I help you?”
    • “Would you like to hold my hand?”
  • Try gentling your word choice: Rather than saying things like “You should…”, ask if they “would consider…”
    • “Would you consider trying to take a few deep breaths with me?”
    • “Would you like to try sitting down?”
  • Cultivate awareness of the desire to use examples from your own life when something the participant says stimulates your desire to talk. Building awareness of your feelings of stimulation goes a long way to gaining skill in knowing when sharing your examples could build trust and rapport vs. when you just feel like sharing your own story too.
  • Let go of attachment to outcomes. It’s not your job to solve their puzzles. When you “fix” someone’s problem for them, you take away their agency. For a person in real or perceived crisis, that’s frequently the worst thing you can do.
  • For severely altered participants who have become a danger to themselves or others, be aware that they both functionally and legally lose that agency. These cases require to a medical supervisor.
    • If it is necessary to do something to keep them from hurting themselves or others, let them know what is happening. “I know you don’t want to sit down and take a break, but it is my job to keep you safe and I need you to stop so that you don’t hurt yourself.”