Every patient has a story. Learning all you can about the background, attitude, lifestyle and support system of each is essential to providing person-centered care and developing treatment plans they can– and will–follow after they return home.*
1. Communicate on their level
An effective way to connect and convey that you value your patients as collaborative partners is to put yourself at their level. Instead of standing over them to talk, sit down and look them in the eye.
2. Listen and be patient
You are in your element at the bedside, but for your patients and their families, being hospitalized is likely new and frightening. Encourage their questions, anticipate their fears and be patient.
3. Include the family
Study how your patients and their family members relate to one another. It can help you assess the strength of the patient’s support system and determine who you can engage to ensure that a patient follows care plans after discharge.
4. Ask open-ended questions
While you should be sensitive to your patient’s comfort and openness with you, you may have to dig beneath the surface with questions that prompt more than just a yes or no answer. Part of your job is reading between the lines to unveil vital information.
5. Follow through
Building trust with your patients means making sure you keep your promises. If you say you’ll check on a patient in an hour, make sure you do it. It might add another task to your list, but it lets your patients know you value their needs.
By Ryan Segovich
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