5 Ways to a Patient’s Heart
Just as oxygen is needed for the body to function, Practical Nurses are essential for the everyday care of patients in long-term healthcare facilities, hospitals, and hospices.
Practical Nurses spend time with patients every day. They take care of their every-day needs like eating, bathing, and personal hygiene among other duties. These personal environments make compassion a necessary trait to have as a practical nurse.
Here are five tips to help you build long-lasting bonds with your patients and to make their lives more comfortable.
Tip 1: Be empathetic
Understanding the pain of others is key to being a helpful practical nurse. Being empathetic can be easy by imagining yourself in the patient’s position. Acknowledging and respecting a patient’s viewpoint or concern can help the patient feel validated.
Daily duties can sometimes make it easy to forget that practical nursing is more than just a job. Building trust with your patients is important to fulfilling your role in their lives. Remember to include them in their health education and take an active interest in them as people.
Tip 2: Get to know your patients
Getting to know your patients is a sure way to understanding their needs and keeping them comfortable.
Patients will feel more comfortable if they feel they can talk to you. Get to know your patients better by learning about their interests, hobbies, and families.
If you are working in a long-term nursing facility, patients may not always have family around to talk to; it’s important that they socialize with their caretakers.
Tip 3: Be an active listener
Always remember to listen to patients when they have a complaint or health issue. Since your job is to help ensure their comfort, it is important that you understand their problems.
Even if patients don’t mention an issue, you may pick up on a health concern or problem by listening carefully to what they’re saying.
It’s also important to listen to all your patients’ basic caregiving preferences. If they want their meal served a certain way, accommodate them if you can. Respecting their wishes may help them trust you and gain confidence in your ability to care for them.
Tip 4: Use a positive voice and body language
As a general rule, you’ll always want to be kind and cooperative with your patients. Your tone of voice and body language are important to how you come across to others. Patients will especially want a caregiver who is warm and inviting.
Here are some actions you should use when communicating with patients:
- Face your patients when engaged in conversation
- Use a calm and kind voice
- Make eye contact
- Nod your head in understanding or agreement
- Take notes if necessary
- Be respectful of your patients’ wishes
- Treat them like equals
- Remain calm in emergencies
Tip 5: Follow up with your patients
Following up with patients after they’ve made a request, complaint, or have had a health problem may help solidify a strong bond. It’s nice to go above and beyond for your patients. If Mrs. Smith is always cold, remember to bring her an extra blanket when you see her. If you have time, check in with your patients between duties. Let them know you’re thinking about them.
Following these tips can help make your day more enjoyable and can build better and stronger bonds with your patients.
If you think the Practical Nursing is the right career path for you, then apply to a training program near you. You can also learn more about the Practical Nursing training program at The Salter School of Nursing.