As a nurse, it is your duty to provide the best patient care possible. Once you’ve completed nursing school and spent some time building experience, you might think you’ve nailed it, but there is always room to learn, especially if you want to advance your career. Whether you are a new nurse or have spent years in the field, these eleven nursing tips will help you give better patient care.
1: Further Your Education
One of the best ways to improve patient care is to start with education. After all, the more you know, the better advice you can give. Your patients would much rather see a nurse who knows their stuff!
If you’re passionate about individual patient care and want to improve your skills, consider becoming a family nurse practitioner. With an online master’s degree, you can improve your skills and get qualified without having to give up your current nursing position.
2: Listen to Everything Your Patient Says
On a busy day, it’s easy to breeze over what a patient says if you think you already know what is wrong. It’s important not to do this, though, as they may have a concern that needs bringing to your attention. Plus, if you don’t listen enough, your patient will feel neglected. So, no matter how rushed you are, make sure that you are present when tending to a patient.
3: Don’t Act Like You Are Rushing
As a nurse, there’ll often be times when you have to rush around to get all your tasks complete while ensuring your patients are well cared for. It’s important not to act like you’re rushing when you’re around patients, though, even when you are. Otherwise, they’ll think that their care isn’t important enough and that you’re more preoccupied with other patients or obligations.
When patients are in your care, they put full trust in you to look after them properly and show them compassion. By giving them your full attention and taking your time when with them, they’ll feel much more relaxed and cared for.
4: Take Advice from Other Nurses
If you are curious about patient care methods different from your own, talk to your fellow nurses about how they handle it. You could ask them what sort of questions they start with, if they have any techniques to calm people down, and how they manage multiple patients in one go. This advice will be especially handy if you’re new, so don’t shy away from asking for help!
5: Notice Nonverbal Cues
Often, it’s the nonverbal cues you need to look out for. While many patients will tell you whether or not they need help, others won’t, so it’s up to you to figure out what they need by glancing over. Don’t worry – with enough practice, and this becomes second nature; focus more on body language while you’re tending to patients.
6: Understand that Every Patient is Different
A crucial piece of information to keep in mind when tending to patients is that not every patient is the same. It’s not just about knowing it, though, as you must also let this alter your patient care. For example, you wouldn’t treat a senior patient with speech issues the same as you’d treat a teenager with a minor burn. While you should give both the same amount of consideration and kindness, they’ll each respond to conversation and social cues in different ways. You might talk a little slower for the older patient and spend more time making them feel comfortable; with the teen, you might crack more jokes to make them relax while you care for them.
7: Ask More Questions
It’s always good to show more interest in your patient’s lives, as it makes them feel more welcome and comfortable. So, the next time you are taking blood or checking a patient’s temperature, ask them friendly and light questions to get the conversation flowing. Remember, though – unless it’d for a medical reason, don’t get too personal with your questions. Asking about a pet is always a good start!
8: Learn to Keep Your Cool
As a nurse, it’s your responsibility to maintain professionalism and be a rock to your patients, which means staying polite and friendly even in the face of difficult patients. Some nurses find this easy, while others struggle. If you fall in the latter half, then you have more of a challenge than your co-workers when it comes to patient care, as you must keep your emotions under control. A couple of ways to help you do this while at work include –
. Squeezing a Stress Ball
. Stepping Outside
. Vent Once the Day is Over
9: Leave Your Home Worries Behind
Depending on your home situation, leading your home worries behind might be challenging, but it’s an important part of patient care. After all, if your mind is on how well your kid is going in school or when your partner will be home from work, you might miss nonverbal cues in your patients, leading to them feeling neglected. So, make it your mission to leave your home worries behind when entering work, and vice versa when you go home.
10: Remember Personal Facts
Patients are far more than a number and an assigned bed, so it’s important to show them that by treating them as individuals. One way to do that is to remember small personal facts that they tell you, such as their children’s name or the food they’re looking forward to the most once they leave the hospital. By mentioning what they’ve previously brought up, you show that you’ve been paying attention and that you care.
11: Be Genuine with Kindness
More often than not, patients can tell if you are faking a kind word, so try to put meaning behind the nice things you say. Even on the days where you are run off your feet and overworked, there’s always something kind to say that you genuinely mean, and it could make all the difference.