Mental Health Question #16


A client who lost a young child two months prior tells the nurse, “Don’t tell me you know what it’s like. You have no idea what it’s like!” The nurse will base a therapeutic communication response based on which factor?


  1. Aggressiveness is probably the underlying personality of the client.
    • Rationale:
  2. Empathy is not possible with this client.
    • Rationale:
  3. Hostility is a common behavior in response to grief.
    • Rationale:
  4. The nurse is judgmental and needs to self-reflect.
    • Rationale:



Hostility may be a common behavior in response to grief. Parents may feel confused, inadequate, angry, hopeless, and fearful and negative feelings can be projected onto the nurse. Option A is incorrect since being hostile or angry does not make the person aggressive. Option B is incorrect since empathy is not only possible, but necessary. Option D is incorrect since nothing in the question pertains to the nurse’s judgment and the nurse has not even acted yet.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale