Nurses are essential to the healthcare system, particularly in patient care. Their primary responsibility is to be a caregiver for the patient by managing their various needs. They are continually present at the patient’s bedside, monitoring their vitals before and after procedures to ensure they are comfortable and recovering smoothly. So it’s safe to say that they spend more time than all other healthcare professionals delivering direct, hands-on care to the patients.
Moreover, nurses witness patients when they are weak and vulnerable, and they have a significant role in boosting the patient’s morale and providing encouragement and hope. Since nurses are indispensable to the healthcare industry, they must be willing to evolve and better comprehend the impact of their actions on patient care so they can attain the highest levels of patient satisfaction. Given below are several ways in which nurses can improve patient care.
- Listen to patients
After years of working in the healthcare industry, doctors and nurses alike can become desensitized to the patients around them, and they might start relating patients to the diseases they have. Unfortunately, doing so eliminates the human touch from patient care and creates a gap between the patient and the nurse. To provide better care, nurses must remember that their patients are people with names and stories. Hence they should spare some time to listen to their patients’ queries and cultivate a bond by referring to them by their names. A friendly conversation enables nurses to comprehend their patients’ frustrations and worries better. With this realization, nurses can draft a treatment plan and provide the best-individualized care according to the patient’s needs.
- Be culturally competent
Another invaluable tip for nurses is to be open to the concept of transcultural nursing. Nurses come in contact with people of varying backgrounds who acknowledge their illnesses and respond to their treatments in various ways. A patient’s culture can also dictate the type of medicines he is open to taking and those he will reject. Nurses should put aside their personal biases and beliefs and incorporate the patient’s cultural background into his medical care. Nurses must be willing to acknowledge and respect the patient’s beliefs, values, religion, lifestyle, and family history in developing an appropriate care plan. Accepting and respecting a patient’s culture and customs and integrating that knowledge while treating the patient puts the patient at ease—this holistic approach to patient care results in drastic improvements in health.
- Practice Safety
Most of the time, neglecting basic safety protocols results in mishaps in patient care. Nurses can easily improve the quality of patient care and prevent accidents by following the safety protocols in their hospital. Nurses should follow it through no matter how trivial the checklist may seem. Small steps like washing hands before and after tending to patients, turning patients from side to side, and focusing on oral care are necessary because they reduce the risk of other infections. Although it may seem futile and a waste of time, implementing these little steps helps guarantee patient safety and improve patient care.
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- Be compassionate
Nurses must show compassion to improve patient care and have a successful career. It is an essential characteristic of a nurse and refers to the ability to recognize the suffering of another. When you are compassionate towards your patients and understand what they are going through, you have more of a desire to help them feel better.
So nurses should practice compassion while tending to patients. They should try to view the situation from their patient’s point of view and strive to lessen their pain and suffering. Simultaneously, they must handle the patient with dignity and respect so that they feel no humiliation while receiving treatment. Showing empathy is an excellent way nurses can elevate patient care standards. However, nursing can be challenging, especially when patients are uncooperative. Regardless of how the patients behave, a nurse should develop ways to offer empathy and compassion while keeping the patient’s predicament in mind.
- Gain further education
Nursing education does not finish after nurses acquire a degree. The field of nursing, together with science and medicine in general, is continuously growing and expanding. New diseases and better ways of treating them come to light every day. Thus adopting a positive attitude towards becoming lifelong learners will help nurses boost patient care. Nurses must stay on top of the game and subscribe to blogs and podcasts where they can access the latest research and evidence-based practices. Staying abreast of modern nursing techniques will enable nurses to provide better patient care while increasing their value, which will pave the way to more job opportunities.
- Empower patients for self-care
Nurses should aim to educate their patients to better care for themselves at home. They can do so by asking open-ended questions and delving deeper into the lifestyle of their patients so they can advise them on adopting better alternatives. Once patients are free to go home, nurses are no longer around to remind them about their daily medicine and food choices. Thus nurses must motivate and encourage their patients to participate in their self-care. In addition, nurses wishing to improve their patient’s health should equip the patient with the necessary knowledge to guarantee they don’t have to return.
Assuming a more humane way of interacting with patients and listening to their queries with an open mind and a non-judgmental manner is vital in improving patient care. Likewise, acknowledging the patient’s input and consulting the patient’s family and friends in creating a suitable treatment plan is also critical in enhancing patient care. Doing so will help nurses surmount the challenges in patient care that persisted in the past.
However, the most significant factor affecting patient care is how nurses treat themselves. Unfortunately, people in the healthcare industry often neglect their health, which decreases their performance. Hence to function optimally and provide the best care to others, nurses must first learn to take care of themselves and encourage their patients to do the same.