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Elaine Wittenberg

, Joy V. Goldsmith

, Sandra L. Ragan

, and Terri Ann Parnell

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date: 20 April 2021

To connect is to achieve shared understanding in communication. Patients and families facing serious, chronic, or terminal illness have a story to share. Most of them want to communicate their journey and want to believe that the providers in their midst know them. Patients and families desire a connection with their nurse and the need to be understood, especially in terms of the challenges in their illness journey. Learning to listen deeply to patient/family stories and capture important information about what they value can lead to connecting with patient/family. Encouraging storytelling, listening to quality of life issues, and practicing person-centered communication are cornerstones of communication in palliative nursing. These principles work together to accomplish narrative clinical practice.

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