Good rapport with your patient doesn’t only allow for a smoother transaction between you two but also enables you to provide him/her with better medical care. When your patient feels comfortable communicating how he/she feels with you, you can find out more about his/her conditions and symptoms so you can tailor the level of care you provide them with.
These tips will help you become a better communicator to your patient:
1. Be conscious of your body language.
Keep your arms open to suggest that you are not holding anything back and, when possible, get down to the eye level of your patient—do not look down on him/her as it might come across as intimidating.
2. Ask questions concisely and clearly.
Make sure your questions are short and easy to understand. If you need to ask multiple questions, ask them one at a time to give your patient enough time to think things through.
3. Always maintain a level of respect for your patients.
Your patient will make many requests to help him/her feel comfortable. If such requests are not possible, decline politely and offer other choices instead of commanding them to do something else.
4. Speak more clearly and loudly without yelling.
Senior patients may have hearing issues so speak at a slower pace while increasing your speaking volume. Always make sure you don’t come across as rude when speaking louder than usual.
5. Provide your patients with lists and reminders when possible.
It may not be as easy for your patient to keep in mind your reminders and instructions as some of them may have memory issues or are still recovering from surgery or trauma. Written instructions will help them stay on track.
6. Be patient.
Remember that your patient is feeling very ill so be more understanding if he/she ever gets cranky or raises your voice at you; they don’t usually mean that. Give them enough time to respond to your questions too.
Once you’ve mastered these communication strategies with your patients, you will surely become a better nurse as you can provide better care to them. This will improve their overall experience with you and the facility you work for which could ultimately benefit your patient satisfaction scores.