creating relationships with patients as a nurse

As a nurse, building strong patient relationships is crucial to providing quality care and improving patient outcomes. Patients who feel comfortable with their healthcare providers are more likely to adhere to treatment plans, share important information about their health and have better overall experiences.

Developing these relationships takes time and isn’t necessarily a skill that can be taught in a classroom. The good news is you can get into the mindset of relationship building with patients while you’re still pursuing your degree. This can set you apart from other new nurses and help you establish yourself as a compassionate and trustworthy healthcare provider.

Actively Listen

Active listening involves giving your full and undivided attention to what the patient is saying, not interrupting and responding in a way that shows you understand and empathize with their concerns. By actively listening, you can gain a better understanding of your patient’s needs, fears and goals, which can help you provide more individualized care.

Active listening also helps establish trust and rapport between you and your patients. When patients feel heard and understood, they are more likely to feel comfortable and open up to you, which can lead to a better overall patient experience.

Some tips for active listening include:

  • Be fully present: Give your undivided attention to the patient and eliminate distractions. Maintain eye contact and use non-verbal cues to show you are engaged.
  • Show empathy and understanding: Try to see the situation from the patient’s perspective and validate their feelings. Use phrases like, “I understand how you must be feeling” or “That sounds challenging.”
  • Avoid interruptions: Let the patient speak without interruption, allowing them to fully express their thoughts and concerns. Avoid the temptation to jump in with your own thoughts or opinions.
  • Use verbal and non-verbal cues: Nodding, smiling and using appropriate facial expressions can encourage the patient to continue sharing. Encourage them to express themselves fully by using open-ended questions.
  • Reflect and paraphrase: Summarize or repeat back what the patient has said to show that you have understood their message accurately. This helps clarify any misunderstandings and ensures that you are on the same page.
  • Listen for underlying emotions: Pay attention to the emotions behind the words. Sometimes, patients may not explicitly express their fears or concerns, but by actively listening, you can pick up on those cues and address them appropriately.

Reduce Jargon

Reducing jargon when interacting with patients is crucial for effective communication and building trust. As a nurse, it’s essential to remember that patients may not have the same medical background or knowledge as healthcare professionals. Using complex medical terminology or jargon can confuse patients, create barriers to understanding and even cause unnecessary anxiety.

  • Use plain language: Replace medical terms with simpler, everyday language that patients can easily grasp. Explain medical concepts in a way that is relatable and relevant to their personal experiences.
  • Check for understanding: Encourage patients to ask questions and verify their comprehension. Use open-ended questions to gauge their understanding without being condescending.
  • Break down information: Present information in small, digestible chunks. Avoid overwhelming patients with an abundance of information all at once. Provide them with opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification as needed.

Be Proactive

By being proactive, you can anticipate your patient’s needs, identify potential issues before they arise and take steps to prevent them from becoming major problems. Not only is this beneficial for the patient’s recovery and wellbeing but it can help build trust and confidence in you as their nurse.

Proactivity can take many forms in nursing. You can display proactivity by regularly checking on your patients, providing education and resources and advocating for their needs. For example, you can check on a patient’s pain level without being prompted to do so and provide pain medication before the pain becomes severe enough for the patient to complain. You can also anticipate the patient’s needs by ensuring they have enough supplies, such as food, water and medication, and communicating effectively with other healthcare providers to ensure continuity of care.

Learn to Foster Strong Nurse-Patient Relationships at the St. Louis College of Health Careers

If you’re interested in becoming a stellar nurse who not only excels at patient care but also knows how to foster strong nurse-patient relationships, then the St. Louis College of Health Careers is the perfect place for you.

Our accredited Practical Nursing Diploma program offer comprehensive training that teaches not just the technical skills, but also helps hone the interpersonal skills that are necessary for building strong relationships with patients.

With experienced faculty and a supportive community, you’ll be able to learn from the best and develop the skills you need to excel in your career as a nurse.

To apply or learn more about the program, visit us online or call 866-529-2070.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment