When you communicate with your patients, are your gestures conflicting your message? The only way to find that answer is to practice self-awareness and body language. Since you live inside your body, you don’t see how your body language can change your message when you are talking to someone. Here are some ways you can practice being more self-aware and become more in control of your body language!
Take a video of yourself having a conversation with… well anyone or no one. You can be talking to the wall, but try to make it as real as possible so that you don’t think about your body language any more than you do on a normal day. See how your face looks as it’s resting, where your hands are and how your face reacts to someone talking to you. Sometimes we might look angry without trying simply because we do not know our face looks like that!
Ask A Coworker
If you are close to someone at your job, ask them how your body language is! If you have resting angry face or seem annoyed by the way you stand normally, they will most likely tell you and be honest with you. Tell them it’s to better improve your care and they should want to help you!
Practice In A Mirror
If you know you’re going to have a new patient or are feeling nervous about the day’s work and how you may portray your personality, practice in the mirror first! Smile, frown or try to make any face you possibly can. As you’re doing this, take note of what looks good and what doesn’t, as well as how it feels when your face is in that position. This can help you train your face to be more pleasant!
Body language is extremely important, especially in nursing. Your patients health and attitude sometimes greatly depend on the care they are receiving. If you are cold or angry looking to your patient, even though you are not meaning to be, it can greatly affect their experience. Work on your self-awareness this week!