Almost all the responsibilities of a nurse revolve around patient care, and they have to attend to the patient’s needs. It includes their physical, emotional, and social needs as well. As a result, nurses spend more time with patients than any other healthcare provider. Hence, the hands-on patient care practice creates a special bond between nurses and patients. In addition to that, nurses working with patients understand almost every aspect of patient care and play an active role in improving patient care quality. Being in that position, nurses are also in the place to enhance patient care in the following ways:
1. Deliver individualized patient care
One aspect of delivering healthcare is that patients are referred by their disease, room number, etc., instead of their name. This practice can strip individuality from patient care and remove the human touch from practice. However, individualized patient care can improve the quality of services by making the nurses focus on providing individualized and tailored services according to the patient’s unique needs. A part of that experience is to address the patients by their names and communicate with them more openly to understand their needs. Moreover, this practice will also shed light on the barriers in the progress of patient care and what support system nurses can establish as a countermeasure.
2. Combat implicit bias
Implicit bias is a significant hurdle on the path of healthcare equity. It causes healthcare disparities for members of any race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, etc. Implicit bias affects the quality of patient care services. However, nurses can take a few steps to combat this phenomenon. However, how nurses address implicit bias will depend on their involvement in the healthcare setting.
In most cases, nurses also become patient advocates for doctors and other healthcare professionals. In such as setting, nurses can outright address the issue and demand equal treatment for the patient. In addition to that, nurses can also talk about these issues in the healthcare setting to educate their colleagues and help make the healthcare system more inclusive and diverse.
3. Empower towards self-care
Most nurses consider their job to assist and care for the patient in all aspects. While that is true in many matters, especially for patients who need acute or critical care, they must deal with average patients a little differently. A nurse’s job is to help patients learn more about maintaining their health and preventing diseases and other illnesses. Therefore, a nurse must empower the patient and urge them to focus on self-care.
A nurse can achieve this goal by asking open-ended questions to determine the patient’s knowledge and teach them about self-care accordingly. Moreover, motivational interviewing and individual care planning can also help nurses achieve this goal.
4. Show compassion
Compassion is essential for every healthcare worker, and it is the quality that improves patient care and helps nurses progress in their career. Compassion is most commonly defined as awareness about the other person’s pain and suffering, along with a desire to help them. Therefore, a big part of patient care is compassionate care.
5. Acquire advanced education
Advance education opens the path for career progress, but it most importantly enables nurses to provide better patient care. By continuing their educational programs, nurses learn about new healthcare research and their findings along with healthcare methods to improve patient care. Then, these methods become practice and help improve the quality of healthcare services and patient satisfaction.
6. Offer empathy
Sympathy is a crucial aspect of healthcare, as it gives nurses the drive to help others. However, empathy is just as important as nurses showing empathy and compassion by listening to patients and understanding their pain and needs. This is an essential aspect of patient care, as it helps the nurses find ways to address the unique needs of their patients. But most importantly, when the patient feels that the healthcare professionals are willing to hear them, take them seriously, understand them, and care for them, the patient satisfaction increases drastically. Hence, they then trust the healthcare providers to make the best decision for their health.
Nursing is a difficult job, and as a nurse, you will have to adapt to challenging situations and different practices constantly. However, the main goal of your work will always focus on improving the patient’s experience in the healthcare setting and improving patient care. Therefore, as a nurse, you must take whatever steps are necessary to achieve these goals. In addition, you must be equipped at all times and in different ways to offer your sympathy, empathy, compassion, and support to the patient. Most importantly, you have to empower the patient to continue to make healthy choices even after they leave.