This is your 4th day in a row. The last 3 days you have had very difficult patients both physically and emotionally. You walk onto the unit to find you are assigned to care for Mr C. He has some superficial wounds on his legs, torso and arms requiring some dressing changes and intravenous antibiotics. You are unaware of the details of the crime and the brutality of the murders. During report you learn he is a 26 year old man accused of brutally stabbing his 23 year old wife and his elderly parents. He was apprehended after a daylong manhunt. An armed police officer is in his room and one stationed directly outside. He is due to be arraigned in his room today by the local authorities. The charge nurse makes you aware of the details of the crime based on the news. As you walk into his room you notice that he is hand cuffed to the bed, he is quiet, his eyes are down cast initially but looks up as you enter the room. His eyes are red from crying. He looks subdued and scared.
Describe why this situation is uncomfortable?
What feeling do you imagine you might have caring for this individual?
What barriers may exist in establishing a therapeutic relationship?
What nursing actions can you take to develop a therapeutic relationship?