Three Ways to Improve Nursing and Patient Interactions

Nurse & Patient Holding Hands

Nurses have always reassured patients with caring demeanors. However, there are times when a small, added time commitment results in vastly improved patient experiences. During patient visits, communication and uninterrupted attention play a critical role in client comfort. Most importantly, relates hospital executives, ongoing and specialized education serve as key components for improving provider-patient relations.

Patient Sentiment in the Current Caregiving Setting

A Health Science Journal research study recently explored the nurse-patient relationship. [1] The study reviewed the rapport and empathy required to effectively gather and relate important information.
Many respondents believed attending nurses were friendly, polite and caring, but a quarter of patients viewed nurses as not entirely forthcoming with medical information. Despite this, over half of the patients rated information frequency as satisfactory. Most notably, almost 90-percent of the patients felt the nurses spent enough time with them, while a similar portion believed nurses were responsive to concerns. The patient group rated overall communication at almost eight out of a possible ten. Despite the mixed results, the study revealed how important care skills, communication and rapport are in producing positive patient outcomes.

Method 1: Building Relationships to Support Positive Outcomes

Relationship building begins with the first interaction between the nurse and patient. [2] Nurses build critical connections by devoting uninterrupted, unrushed attention to each patient for a few minutes daily.
Rapport creates trust and compliance among patients. Part of building rapport rests in serving tFhe needs of the family members and friends who help patients feel understood and safe. The infinitesimal time needed to build rapport with patients produces large payoffs in client cooperation and positive outcomes.

Method 2: Why Communication Is Important

Communication helps to alleviate patient concerns. [3]While proficient communication in nursing requires discretion, it is important to include all present stakeholders, such as family members and caregivers, in the conversation.
Nurses learn effective communication skills through education and training that prepares them to deliver care in an environment with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Once nurses graduate, they understand that communication is a two-way process requiring plain language to ensure comprehension and informed responses.

Method 3: Balancing Empathy and Impartiality

When nurses deliver services with compassion and empathy, patients feel self-assured and trusting. [4] However, nurses must maintain professional objectivity. When nurses grow overly attached to patients, their emotions hinder professional service.
Nurses sometime struggle with balancing their professional and personal concerns for patients, especially with clients who visit the hospital frequently. While courteousness and empathy are important, it is critical to maintain professional boundaries.
Hospitals around the country employ these and other methods to improve relationships with patients. The following two narratives relate how care providers use the methods in their daily practice.

Attentiveness in Action

Skilled nursing professionals expertly maintain “full presence” with patients. [5] They deliver service and communicate with patients without allowing outside influences to interrupt physically, mentally or emotionally.
The DAISY Award recognizes nursing professionals who deliver exemplary service. Award winner registered nurse Allyson Scalora expressed her thoughts on full presence with patients in a Nurse.com article. The RN related that delivering service makes her think about her own mortality. She believes that full presence is more than a courtesy; it is a responsibility for all professional nurses. The international DAISY Award reminds nurses that compassion is an important skill across all disciplines and cultures.

Changing Objectives to Improve Patient Outcomes

An article in the local Connecticut newspaper, the Day, reports on relationship-based care at the L+M Hospital – pronounced Lawrence and Memorial – Hospital in New London. [6] In the news report, RN Sarah Prpich recounts a meeting with a nursing assistant that would have never happened almost a year ago.
Now, L+M Hospital employs the Relationship-based Care Program, a popular framework that improves patient outcomes and staff member morale. Under the framework, medical personnel tend to clients individually while reflecting on how that service influences patient outcomes.
The facility instituted the program after a disruptive strike. Today, staff members make important decisions together to improve patient interactions and outcomes.

Career Forecast for Nursing Professionals

A post in Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine covers an interview with Banner Gateway Medical Center CEO Lamont Yoder and Senior Vice President Carol Bradly about how nurses improve service in today’s hospitals. [7] Among other talents, the executives cite the importance of communication skills.
Yoder points out that nurses serve as the primary contact point for patients and have resourcefully toiled to fulfill client needs in the best way possible. He goes on to state that nurses must learn new, effective communication ideas to work with the many stakeholders delivering service in the reformed health care environment. This sentiment aligns with the Institute of Health Care Improvement’s desire that 80-percent of all United States entry-level nurses earn bachelor’s degrees by the year 2020. According to Bradley, the nurses of today and tomorrow must commit to ongoing education and technological literacy to improve patient interactions.
Learn More
Adventist University started building its solid foundation for nursing education in 1908 when it began training nurses so healthcare could be provided for more people. Today they offer cutting edge education and experienced faculty dedicated to helping individuals interested in pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing degree.

Sources:
[1] http://www.hsj.gr/medicine/assessment-of-patients-and-nurses-opinions-on-the-bidirectional-communication-during-hospitalization-a-descriptive-study.php?aid=6536
[2] http://www.nahc.org/news/building-rapport-with-your-patient-positive-case-management-outcomes/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3990376/
[4] http://www.gapmedics.com/blog/2015/01/20/balancing-empathy-and-objectivity-as-a-nurse/
[5] https://www.nurse.com/blog/2016/11/21/understanding-the-value-of-being-present-with-patients/
[6] http://www.theday.com/article/20160923/NWS01/160929666
[7] http://www.hhnmag.com/articles/7687-required-skills-for-todays-nurses

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