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Key words and phrases nurses asked to say

Hospitals and health care consultants are training nurses and other caregivers in customer service, which sometimes involves giving them key phrases and words believed to increase patient comfort and decrease anxiety. Some nurses unions oppose the practice, saying they are being asked to follow scripts that feel insincere and override professional judgment.

Here are some typical phrases suggested to nurses:

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- “Is there anything else I can do for you before I leave? I have the time while I am here in your room.’’

- “Do you mind if I review these instructions? I want to make sure I’ve been clear so you will feel confident that you know what to do.’’

- “I hear what you are saying.’’

- “We will be checking on you regularly about every hour. Please use the call light if you need someone before then.’’

- “Mr. Jones, please don’t wait until your pain is severe. Call me as soon as it feels like it’s reaching (level) so I can respond in time.’’

- “Hello, Mrs. _____, My name is _____. I’m the nurse who will be looking after you today.

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