It’s important to ask the right questions when assessing your patients with heart failure (HF). Patients do not always identify or report common and atypical signs and symptoms of HF and may not understand that these may reflect a worsening clinical status. Albert and colleagues examined the prevalence of HF signs and symptoms relative to demographics, care setting, and functional class. They concluded that nurses must recognize atypical signs and symptoms of worsening functional class to determine clinical status and facilitate patient care decisions. They found the following:

—Nancy M. Richards, RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN

See Article, pp 443–453

Nurses commonly provide family updates without regard to the coping style and communication needs of the family decision maker. Hickman and colleagues studied coping styles and depressive symptoms of family decision makers. These researchers found the following about family members’ coping styles:

As caregivers...

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