Patients can get cranky at times, especially if they are in pain. If your patients are testing your mettle and causing you stress, you’d want to snap, but it would be better to suspend your judgment for a while, and consider empathizing with them.
Patients have to amount to more than just medical numbers. Nurses might see a lot of patients in a single day, but that doesn’t mean that they can be reduced to mere numbers on a chart.
Also, providing patients with quality care will satisfy their needs and help you progress in your career. At the end of the day, when your patients learn to trust you, it can benefit the both of you. Having deep knowledge about their patients can help the nurses excel in giving care.
Patient-nurse transparency creates a healthy hospital environment that can otherwise seem chaotic and emotionally stifling. Both patients and the nurse staff benefit from enhancing relations based on trust.
There is no doubt that patients need time to open up about their insecurities and problems. Often patients might be compelled to hide certain embarrassing details about their medical history, but if they trust the nurses and physicians, they can open up.
In order to foster rapport with your patients, you need to keep the following tips in mind:
- Develop Clinical Skills
A good nurse is supposed to be proficient in her nursing skills. But, with advancements happening at breakneck speeds in healthcare, everyone needs to stay updated.
You can do this by upskilling constantly. So, if you are someone without a higher nursing degree, chances are you might be passed over for promotions, or even feel inadequately qualified to handle patient queries.
Remedy this by going for, say, an advanced MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Degree in order for you to equip yourself with the right credentials for the job. The skills imparted through this degree will help you to work on your relationship with the patients and allow you to effectively handle patient requirements while staying well within professional conduct.
- Endurance is the Key
Nursing is a tough job. You might lose control of your emotions and cause a strain in your relationship with patients. But if you have been working as a nurse for some time, you know that nurses are extremely tolerating.
Patients will feel cared for if you make the effort to listen to them attentively. Even when a patient is rude, make an extra effort not to respond in like. Practice restraint and rein in your temper, and always respond in a calm manner.
- Encouragement never goes wasted
When does demotivation work? Almost Never. With patients, you need to be careful as to not hurt their feelings because they’re already at their most vulnerable.
Words of encouragement offered with intentions of providing care will uplift the patient’s mood. Keeping a positive attitude about you in a healthcare setting will allow the patients to trust you more and help them relax around you.
- Enhance your knowledge
A patient coming to the hospital expects a certain level of professionalism and competence on part of the people treating him/her. Catching whiff of even the slightest incompetence can cause them to question your methods.
Stay knowledgeable on the topics that fall under your purview. Ask your seniors or physicians for advice on things you aren’t clear about, so that when a patient does confide themselves in you, you’re at least able to give them an informed opinion.
- Get to know your Patients
While respecting each patient’s boundaries, nurses should make the conscious effort to know about their patient’s personal lives. This means asking them about their disease, their lifestyle, or even about their fears and aspirations, in order to gather a clearer understanding of the patient’s concerns.
Spare a few moments from your day to sit with them and give them words of encouragement. Going out of your way in providing care to the patients will signal that you are genuinely caring and compassionate person, which will make them trust you more.
- Providing medical care is not the only part of the job
Patients require more than just medical care. There’s no other reason a patient would come to a hospital, of course. But delivering your medical services in a caring manner is better than just providing your patients with diagnosis and treatment plans and be done with it.
Don’t look upon the patients as just case numbers. Provide them with emotional and psychological support that they might especially need since they’re in a bad place from having to live with the disease.
It will help you build that elusive rapport that many practitioners fail to build with their patients. Consider incorporating patients’ feedback and opinions into their own treatments, monitor their recovery by showing genuine interest and concern, and let them know their options in a way that allows them to make their own choices.
- Observe Keenly
Observational skills are key if you want to be a nurse who excels not only in providing care but also gives emotional support to her patients. Sometimes, all you need to do is observe the patient’s behavior in order to build a better understanding of what might be bothering them or what they may need.
Not all patients are expressive about their pains and problems, but if you are able to understand their condition just through observation, they would feel that you understand them.
- Behavioral analysis could be handy
Try to mirror your patient’s behavior. Reflect their concerns back to them so they can feel understood. Find commonalities and shared interests, which will signal to the patients your shared experiences, deepening the trust between the two of you.
Steer clear of any emotionally-charged topics. Being trusting and easily approachable doesn’t mean that all conventions and ethics of professional conduct have to go out of the window as well.
Patient-nurse rapport can be tough to master. However, with good-natured values and a sense of optimism to guide you, patients will start seeing the compassionate side of you more often. Patients from diverse backgrounds make it even more important that you keep your professionalism about you. Patient care is not only about providing medical services, it’s about building trust with the patients. Listen to their complaints, involve them in their own treatments, calm their fears, give thoughtful replies to their queries, and generally be more interested in them as humans and not just as patient cases.