Nurses are a fundamental part of the healthcare system. Without them, the entire system would fall into shambles. The role of nurses is not just to assist doctors and look after basic healthcare services such as administering medicines but also to provide emotional, and mental support to patients. Hence, the role of nurses is one of the most difficult and crucial roles in the healthcare industry.
However, due to the issues faced by the healthcare industry today, there are many problems and concerns regarding patient care. Patient satisfaction and happiness are some of the most important objectives in healthcare, and as front-line health workers, the responsibility of providing good patient care lies primarily on nurses.
If you are a nurse looking to improve patient care, here are five ways to ensure that your patients are dealt with and catered to keep them happy and satisfied while on their journey to recovery.
Learning is an ongoing process in all fields and that also applies to nursing. If you can identify the issues in your patient care and wish to improve the experience you provide to your patients, the best thing to do is to become a lifelong learner.
Even as a professional in the field, learn about new theories and research regarding patient care and apply them. Further, if you truly want to commit to the learning process, you can opt for one of the many fast-track RN to BSN online programmes, which will set you on the path to becoming a quality patient care provider.
Listen to your patients
A constant complaint raised by patients regarding their experience in hospitals and clinics is that they don’t feel heard, an unfortunate breach of the fundamental virtue of empathy that should be embodied in the healthcare profession. Healthcare professionals often focus solely on determining the patient’s condition and give little to no weightage to what the patient themselves wish to tell them about their state.
As a nursing professional, being a good listener will go a long way for you. Therefore, to improve patient care, allow them to speak and share their stories with you. It will enable you to provide better care to your patients and learn more about them.
Moreover, being in a hospital or clinic is an overwhelming experience for most people. The general feelings of admitted patients are stress, fear, isolation, and other negative emotions. As a nurse, you can help your patients feel more comfortable and thereby improve their experience by spending some time with them.
By allowing your patients to form a bond with yourself, you can help them fight off isolation and instead relax in the presence of a friendly face. Little things like addressing your patients by name, speaking to them while maintaining eye contact, and asking them about their family and work go a long way. It will not significantly improve your patient’s experience and give them the strength to get through the illness.
Ensuring patient safety is of the utmost importance. As a nurse, you must never compromise the safety and well-being of the patients in your care and do all within your power to protect them. The slightest slip-up can have catastrophic effects in a medical emergency and put your patients at grave risk.
Regardless of how stressful your workday is or how crazy your schedule is, you must abide by all safety precautions and protocols to ensure that your patient is looked after in the best way. Ensure that you and your team follow all necessary protocols, regardless of how minute they are, how well you know the patient’s history, or how redundant the protocol seems. If a certain thing is part of the protocol, it is so for a reason.
Use compassion and empathy
Working with patients requires not only patience but two other very important virtues. These are compassion and empathy. People who are admitted to hospitals are usually experiencing a variety of medical issues. It is a scary and difficult time.
While as a healthcare professional, it may be normal for you to see several patients lying in hospital beds. However, for each of them, it is one of the most horrible experiences of their lives. As a nurse, you can ease the hearts and minds of your patients by showing compassion and exercising empathy. By lending an empathetic ear to your patients and understanding their pain, you can help ease their suffering.
This, surprisingly, is very relevant in the nursing profession. It’s an adage that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life. You may be an excellent care provider, but at the end of the day, that’s all you are. You cannot look after the patient for the rest of your life. However, you must teach them self-care to ensure that they remain healthy.
While attending to a patient, you become aware of their specific illness and know how to handle that through medication and treatment. When the patient is in your care, you must teach them proper medical administration, a healthy diet, and basic procedures such as blood sugar level checking or blood pressure monitoring. It will enable them to look after their health and prevent any serious medical problems in the future.
The profession of nursing is quite demanding and draining. However, the drive within nurses to help others and look after the sick and injured keeps them going. As a nurse, you naturally strive to improve the level of care you provide to your patients at all times to ensure that their stay at the hospital is as pleasant as possible. The presence of nurses is essential for the health and satisfaction of patients, as well as the overall standard of care delivered to individuals. With their direct interactions with patients, nurses have a distinct opportunity to establish connections and stand up for their patients in various settings, including hospitals, medical clinics, and assisted living facilities.
Using the above guidelines, you can ensure quality patient care for all you look after. However, remember the most important thing: looking after yourself. After all, you can’t pour from an empty glass.
Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.