Building a relationship with a stranger is never easy, but it’s critical to nursing success. It’s a crucial part of patient satisfaction, but like anything, it’s a skill to be learned and practiced. You will be much more satisfied in your work and your patients will be much happier and healthier if you follow these 6 steps:
#1 – Practice Patience
Always be patient with your patients. They are probably nervous, scared or even angry about being in the hospital. Give them time to adjust to their settings and be gentle and understanding when describing any new treatments they are about to undergo. Try and see the hospital experience through the patient’s’ eyes: it’s unfamiliar, intimidating, and downright frightening.
In another sense, you must also be patient with your own nursing capabilities. You will not be able to connect with every patient right away, but as you practice your skills, it will become easier. You will find yourself putting your patients at ease faster and more often.Always be patient with your patients! This and 5 other skills will help you develop great patient relationships. Check them out: Click To Tweet
#2 – Be encouraging
Sometimes mental wellness can improve from just a little boost of confidence. Staying positive on assignment might not always be easy: something about the client might put you off or annoy you. Still, there are a few things you can do to encourage your patients, regardless of personality:
- Offer specific, practical help. If you ask a discouraged patient “How can I help?” and they can’t think of an answer, try being more specific. Ask, “Would it help if I….?” or say “It might help if I…” and give them a suggestion.
- Use kind words. This is especially effective for children. Offer a few words like, “It was very brave how you handled that,” or “It won’t be as bad as you’re imagining it to be, it’ll be like this instead…”
- Smile. There isn’t much more encouraging than a bright, smiling and calm face when things seem bleak.
#3 – Be Respectful
Never try and force friendship on your patients. For some, a quiet hospital room and as few interruptions as possible is the best way to get better. Still, for as long as the patient is under your care, make sure they know you’re available for help or to talk if they need it. Sometimes just knowing someone is there and willing to listen is enough to establish a happy patient-nurse relationship.
#4 – Communicate
In general, positive clinical outcomes depend on providing your patient with as much information as possible. The unknown is what causes fear in most patients, so practice conveying medical information in an organized, logical and concise way.
#5 – Develop Your EI
Emotional intelligence (EI) is there to help you understand your own emotions and those of your patients. A major aspect of EI is having thorough self-awareness. Practice assessing patients’ nonverbal communication and see if that helps you decipher how they’re feeling. Most importantly, self-awareness results in a capacity to accept and act on constructive criticism. When a patient offers a word of advice about how they can be helped best, take the advice without offense. It will only help you learn how to be a better nurse in the long run.Do you have great #emotionalintelligence? It’s one of the keys to a great nurse-patient relationship. Find out more: Click To Tweet
#6 – Give Without Expectations
When you enter into a new patient relationship, offer up your kindness right away—but don’t expect anything in return. Some patients may not want to establish any kind of relationship with the hospital staff, but they must still be treated with the same kindness and understanding. This will help the hospital’s overall patient satisfaction in the long run.
In the end, there’s never a bad time to work on your interpersonal skills. Even if you’re already an expert on establishing great patient relationships, there are always improvements to be made. These tips will get you moving in the right direction and ensure your patients are happier and healthier than ever. If you’re looking for your next challenge and new patients to work with, apply with Freedom Healthcare Staffing and develop a career you never need a vacation from.