How to use intentional silence
Evidence & Practice    

How to use intentional silence

Douglas Kemerer Resident care manager, Frey Village, Middletown, Pennsylvania, USA

Rationale and key points

This article explains intentional silence, which can provide a therapeutic nursing presence that demonstrates compassion and respect for the patient.

Intentional silence can enhance the therapeutic relationship between the nurse and patient.

Intentional silence can be used to reduce the patient’s emotional lability by ensuring that they feel listened to.

It is important that nurses are able to respond therapeutically to rhetorical statements and/or those concerning serious or severe clinical circumstances.

The nurse can use intentional silence to support the patient in acknowledging, processing and reflecting on changes in their health.

Reflective activity

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Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e10538

Correspondence

dkemerer@gmail.com

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 22 April 2016

Accepted: 09 June 2016

Published online: 03 August 2016

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