In a hectic work environment, it can be difficult to build a meaningful relationship with each one of your patients. Whether you work in long-term care or simply see your patients as they pass through the ER, the way you connect with them as individuals is often the most significant part of their experience. Are you interested in developing stronger trust and rapport with your patients? These four tips will get you started.
How Nurses can build trust with their patients
While most medical professionals feel they are already stretched too thin, patients complain they don’t get enough time with their doctors and nurses. In fact, poor communication is the number one complaint to appear in surveys. Being a good listener doesn’t demand you sit still while patients recite their life story. Rather, taking just a couple extra minutes to hear their complaints will immediately help their trust in you grow.
2. Keep them in the loop
It’s hard enough for nurses to keep up with advancements in medical practice. For the average patient, their illnesses and treatments are a complete mystery. Next time you are starting a treatment, hanging an antibiotic or wheeling somebody into the X-ray department, explain what’s happening and why it’s necessary. Your patients’ confidence in you will grow as they see you treat them with respect.
3. Respect their rights
Like all healthcare professionals, nurses tend to have strong opinions regarding medical treatments and procedures. While you can do your best to educate your patients, their final decision regarding accepting or rejecting certain treatments might come down to a gut feeling. Are you going to stubbornly push them towards what you believe is right? If so, you might damage the trust you’ve built. As educators and advocates, it’s our responsibility to respect the privacy and autonomy of our patients. When you do so, you build the trust that will allow you to have a meaningful impact on their care.
4. Show personal interest
Do you see your patients as more than an account number and a diagnosis? No matter how busy you are, it’s always possible to slip in a few personal questions and get to know your patients. Every time you enter a patient’s room to check a pump, for example, you can multitask by having a quick personal conversation. It won’t derail their treatment plan, and it will dramatically affect the trust they have in you.
Trustworthiness, reliability, professionalism … your patients expect all of this (and more!). Don’t you deserve the same high-quality treatment? The Nurse Backpack app is designed to be your best helper. Think of it as a mobile personal assistant, ensuring your certifications, licenses and other professional credentials are up to date and always at your fingertips. Try it out for yourself to see how it can help transform your career.