A nurse is caring for a patient in a coma. The patient's spouse is the DPOA. When a visitor asks the nurse about what happened to the patient, which of the following is the best response?


• The nurse must maintain patient confidentiality and cannot release information to visitors. The nurse must respectfully explain the patient's right to privacy and direct questions to the patient's representative.

• Simply stating "I can't talk to you" is not appropriate, because it does not explain why this is not allowed or direct the visitors to the family for information.

• Replying "Ask him what happened" is not appropriate in this situation because the patient is in a coma and is unable to communicate. 

• Stating that "He suffered a brain injury and cannot wake up" is inappropriate because it provides medical information about the patient to visitors. This is a violation of HIPAA regulations for patient privacy.

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