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Nursing: Important Tips To Help Improve Your Patients' Lives

Nursing is a profession that requires constant learning and growth. Nurses are constantly challenged with new patient diagnoses, treatments, and questions. As nurse educators, nurses have the responsibility of educating our students on how to best care for their patients. This blog post discusses some important tips for improving your nurse-patient relationships that will help improve the lives of your patients!

Treat your patients (and colleagues) with respect

One of the primary things you can do to improve nurse-patient relationships is to treat your patients with respect. We often hear that the "bedside manner" of nurses makes or breaks a nurse-patient relationship, and this couldn't be more true! Making sure you are treating your patient as an individual will help them feel at ease when they interact with you.

In the same manner, you should treat your colleagues with respect too. In this case, you need to familiarize yourself with the importance of leadership in nursing. With a great leader, you and the other nurses can work better as a team, aiming to improve your patient's lives better.

Make your patients feel comfortable

The most important thing you can do for your patients is to make them feel comfortable. Patients are already stressed because of the reason they're in the hospital, so trying to make them feel at home will improve their mood and keep them from being anxious.

For instance, you can bring your patient a nurse's kit or some flowers/plants. You can also talk about something other than medical topics. Even though you'll want to talk about how they're doing, it's best to talk about something other than medical topics. This will help them get their mind off of being in the hospital and work towards making them feel better.

Another thing you can do is to write a nurse note on your patient's door. It might be easy for you to just write down what time you're coming into the room, but getting your nurse note on your patient's door will make them feel like they matter. There is also the option for you to Invite your patient to a nurse event. Nurse appreciation events are great because you get the chance to socialize with each other and bond over shared interests. Getting involved in these types of activities is sure to improve your patients' moods!

Speak in a calm voice

Speak in a calm voice and never raise your voice at the patient. If you are upset or frustrated, take a minute to calm down before speaking. Use positive words and phrases like "yes" instead of no. Say “let’s get you back in bed” rather than “get into bed now!” These patient requests may not be possible for the nurse but can make the nurse seem more understanding and kind.

Be mindful of your tone when speaking to the patient's family members or friends as well. If you are frustrated with them, take a breath before responding so that you do not say things in anger that could hurt feelings or make relations worse than they already are.

Maintain appropriate personal boundaries.

Ask the nurse if it is all right to hold a patient’s hand before taking his or her pulse, for example. If you have questions about what types of physical contact are permissible, ask your nurse manager beforehand and follow that nurse's instructions exactly. Maintaining professional relationships with patients may also require you to be mindful of your dress code and avoid wearing clothing that is too revealing or otherwise inviting.

Patients with dementia may not recognize a nurse if he or she has changed outfits, for example. Be aware of the patient's needs as well as what might attract other patients' attention in clinical settings where privacy is limited. Speak with nurse leaders if you are ever unsure about what to do.

Maintain a positive and professional attitude even when it is difficult or exhausting.

Remember that being patient-centered means putting the needs of your patients first, not just before yours, but also over any other nurse's needs or desires as well! Don't forget how important your nurse's aide is. Nurses need aides to help keep their schedules straight, patients clean and fed, rooms tidy. Aides are often nurse leaders' eyes on the floor as well, since they know what is going on in different parts of a unit or department. They ensure that patients receive medication properly, for example, so that nurses can focus on patient education and care.

If nurse leaders believe that a nurse is taking advantage of his or her aide, they will not hesitate to make changes in the nurse's schedule to give him or her time off until he or she has learned how valuable aides are! This may also mean working with an aide for longer shifts than usual if another nurse has taken on too much extra work.

When nurse leaders are overworked, it means that nurses and nurse's aides alike will have to do more for themselves to keep up with their schedules as well as the patients' needs! Nurses will be asked to take medication rounds or walk other nurse's patients until things settle down. A nurse with a patient who needs extra help in the bathroom, for example, may have to empty and clean his or her urine bag at home before coming back again.

Don't be afraid to speak up if you know that nurse leaders are overworked! Nurses can partner together in units or departments to discuss how they could cover nurse leader patients, or nurse leaders could share their knowledge of how to help nurse's aides stay on top of things.

The most important thing you can do for your patients is to make them feel comfortable. Speak in a calm voice and never raise your voice at the patient, be prepared to answer any questions or concerns that they might have about their illness, treatment, or recovery. Always be respectful of the patient's privacy. Don't ask personal questions unless it's appropriate. If someone has been discharged from the hospital, make sure they understand what medications are being prescribed and how often they need to take them. Helping people with their daily tasks will help them recover faster.

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