When a client is withdrawn, immobile and mute, it can be difficult to know what the best course of action is for the nurse. This blog post will discuss some strategies that nurses can use in these situations. -Provide the client with a safe and comfortable environment. -Encourage interaction, speech or movement by using verbal cues to elicit these responses from the client. For example, “I want you to make a sound for me please.” This can be done by providing prompts such as touch (e.g., tapping on their hand), pictures of various objects they would typically use in day-to-day activities like cooking, drawing or bathing) Suggestions may include: “What are your favorite foods?”, “How do you bathe?” or “Do you cook?”. Recommendations about how often this type of prompting should occur is optional but some experts suggest that it’s best if it doesn’t happen too much since it can lead to the client feeling bored and frustrated. -Provide sensory stimulation to maintain focus on external stimuli, such as by having them watch or listen to something that they would find interesting. This is especially helpful when it comes to individuals who are severely withdrawn because they may not be able to respond verbally in these situations. Providing a favorite toy for the individual might also help with this strategy. -Ask open ended questions about things like preferences, feelings, beliefs etc., even if you know what their response will be; just keep doing so until responses start coming back naturally again (e.g., “Do you want anything else?”) The client should eventually get tired of responding negatively and give in at some point or

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