As a nurse, your day is spent hopping from one patient to another asking the routine questions, checking their vitals, etc etc. When your job is stressful, and sometimes monotonous, how do you make sure the interactions you’re having with patients are personal and meaningful? Here are some things to consider on your daily rounds with patients.
1. Be An Active Listener
When you ask your patient a question and are simply waiting for the part of the answer you need, your eyes might glaze over. Don’t let them! Really pay attention to all the details, or the little details, that your patient has to say. If they feel that you are actively listening rather than just charting their answers, then you will build their trust and they will be more honest with you.
2. Maintain Professional Boundaries
Boundaries may differ from patient to patient. Some patients need more therapeutic touch such as hand holding and hugging, and others don’t want to be touched at all. Before attempting any kind of therapeutic touch, make sure it is warranted by your patient. Sometimes a hug from their nurse can make their whole day.
3. Get To Know Them
Instead of only asking questions about their pain levels, etc., ask about their home life, children and hobbies. Not only will this make them feel like you truly care, but it will help keep your day feeling less robotic and more human.
No matter how talented of a nurse you are, if you can’t build lasting and meaningful relationships with your patients, it’s all for naught. Make time and conversation with your patients and I promise it won’t only make their day better, but yours too!