Patients expect nurses to create reliable connections with them and communicate their concerns to relevant physicians. Considering nurses being the most dedicated professionals in the United States, they can improve medical services by bonding effectively with patients.
Several studies have confirmed how RNs can influence care delivery positively by bolstering their active listening skills. When patients believe that nurses are listening to them, they report better outcomes and recover successfully.
So, how should you connect with patients to help them improve effectively? We’ll discuss here the impact of a nurse-patient relationship. It can help nurses realize what sort of behavior produces beneficial results in healthcare.
How does the nurse-patient relationship affect healthcare?
Dealing with their patients closely, a nurse provides holistic medical services to clients. This connection helps patients remain satisfied with the facilities they receive and participate in health-related decisions.
The nurse-patient relationship stems from “trust” that empowers patients and allows nurses to advocate on their behalf. Experts have identified five significant elements of this relationship. It includes trust on top, among other factors, like power, respect, empathy, and intimacy. Now, how can RNs improve this relationship?
Healthcare organizations can leverage eLearning facilities to produce a well-educated nursing workforce to bolster the nurse-patient connection. Distance learning opportunities enable RNs to enhance their expertise for taking on advanced clinical responsibilities.
Pursuing MSN to NP programs online allows them to offer better care delivery to patients and ensure positive outcomes. How can nurses impact the quality of healthcare with patient-centered care? Let’s discuss the impact of the nurse-patient relationship on healthcare quality:
1. Helping them speak up
Since nurses spend more time with patients, most patients naturally communicate better with RNs than physicians. Therefore, nurses listen to patients, collect necessary information, and pass it on to doctors. That’s why RNs serve as the doctor’s “link” to their patients and prevent a lack of communication between these two entities from affecting healthcare quality.
Acting as patients’ message-bearers, nurses can contribute to improvements in medical services offered at hospitals.
2. Providing individualized care
Nurses provide the “human touch” patients direly need to communicate effectively with caregivers. You might’ve seen nurses remembering their patients’ names, conversing with them, and soothing their family members.
Offering patient care tailored to an individual’s needs can empower them and help them get control of their well-being. Connecting with patients through their names can enable you to understand their preferences better so you can help them make the correct decision as well.
3. Creating acceptance
As per observations, conflicts emerge in care delivery when the patient adamantly refuses to believe that their illness requires them to live under certain restrictions. When a patient shows aggression and disrespects the nursing workforce, it negatively influences the quality of healthcare.
However, experienced nurses are familiar with handling such patients, being empathetic with their conditions, and communicating effectively. That’s how they produce the desired patient outcomes.
4. Promote self-care
The goal of building nurse-patient relationships isn’t just catering to the patient’s needs while they stay at the hospital. Nurses should also empower patients to focus on self-healing practices.
We’ve already discussed how RNs must offer individualized care specific to each patient’s objectives. Thus, promoting self-care helps patients remember, for example, taking insulin or continuing dieting to ascertain their well-being. It maintains the quality of healthcare without any direct intervention.
5. Advocating for a patient
Strengthening the nurse-patient relationship encourages RNs to advocate on their behalf. So, how to advocate for a patient? In essence, it’s all about ensuring that your patient gets the right to make the correct decision about their healthcare. Helping the patient make a well-informed decision can help nurses boost the quality of their services.
Also, RNs must not hesitate from giving their patients access to any legal resources they require. Moreover, nurses should ensure that patients are familiar with payment solutions if they think the patient’s being offered unjust options. These actions will directly influence the healthcare industry and empower patients.
6. Tiresome patients
Studies conducted on nurse-patient relationships concluded that RNs encountered two types of patients, i.e., collaborative and uncomfortable. Collaborative ones dutifully follow the instructions given by physicians, express their feelings effectively, and take care of their hygiene.
But demanding patients contribute to the nursing workforce’s workload with their constant agitation and refusal to follow instructions. These patients aren’t satisfied quickly, thereby causing RNs to feel little empathy for them. Therefore, delivering optimal care to them becomes difficult for nurses. It seems that nurses tend to support patients who are willing to collaborate with nurses/physicians willingly.
7. Making fewer mistakes
Statistics show that annually almost 85,000 medical malpractice lawsuits take place in the USA. These mistakes – made by nurses/physicians – notably reduce the quality of healthcare in the country.
So, nurses are responsible for 50-80 percent of medication mistakes. Also, every 300th medical mistake leads to a patient’s death. According to estimates, two-thirds of RNs (64.55%) have made such errors, and one-third are on the verge of medication mistakes. So, what’s the solution to this problem?
Again, improving the nurse-patient relationship encourages RNs to become more vigilant about the patient. When nurses start to connect with their patients, it helps them communicate appropriately with patients, guiding them through their healthcare journey. The stronger the relationship, the more vigilant they’ll be. So, strengthening the relationship with your patient will help you provide the best health services.
RNs can leverage their networking capabilities to reduce a patient’s hospital stay, improve their satisfaction levels, and bolster their participation in decisions affecting healthcare. Conversely, a nurse’s uncooperative attitude with patients can result in diminished confidence, thereby decreasing autonomy. That’s why nurses must create strong bonds with clients, advocate on their behalf, and empower their patients for better healthcare results.