We’re barely two months into 2019 and it’s already been a complicated year. Many people are feeling the stress and pressure build up, and that affects all kinds of interpersonal relationships. Add to that the need for compassion about medical circumstances with the patients in your care, and there may be some challenges that arise. What is the number one skill necessary for success in your medical career this year? Here’s how to better manage patient relationships.
Patients are at various levels of crisis. Some are concerned, some are confused, and some are frightened. Whatever the case, its your job to understand what they’re saying. The best way to do that is through active listening.
Humans have a tendency to listen only long enough to respond. Instead, give them the time they need to explain their concerns to you. Then repeat them back to make sure you’ve understood. Don’t be ready with an explanation or solution right away, take some time to determine the right course of action.
Even if you do want to take some time to talk with a doctor or determine the right next steps, be sure to communicate every step of the way. Your patient may be anxious, so its up to you to let them know what to expect.
Being overly communicative is much better than being under communicative. Follow up with them regularly and make sure they understand what will be happening next.
Your patient may be experiencing extreme stress. This could be due to the anxiety of not knowing. Or maybe they have pain that isn’t being properly managed. Do your best as a professional to give them the tools they need to handle the stress they’re under.
In some cases, this could be as simple as calling a loved one to sit with them. Or having the television on their favorite program. Or providing the right level of comfort for their bed.
As a medical professional, it’s imperative that you have empathy for your patients. This means that you can see the situation from their perspective and understand it.
Empathy allows you to put yourself in their shoes to feel what they feel. Then you can make a decision based on their personal needs to ensure comfort, safety, and security.
It’s also important that you and the entire medical team work together to provide the best quality patient care. It is unhelpful if you’re willing to actively listen or provide creature comforts but the nurse that takes over your shift is not. Instead, focus on communicate between professionals.
Talk to the doctors about what you’ve seen. Since you’re on the ground with the patients, you may see things they don’t notice right away. Talk about the shift change and pass on notes that will be helpful for anyone coming in to take over.
Finally, try to maintain a positive attitude and outlook. Even in the most dire situations, positivity can help patients see a light at the end of the tunnel. And positivity is contagious. Be kind, friendly, and even funny.
Negative thoughts will only serve to bring your patients down and allow them to focus on what’s wrong rather than envision what will go right.
Are you looking for the right work environment for your nursing career? Fortus Healthcare Solutions can help, so call us today.