Five Ways Nurses Can Build Better Rapport With Patients

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Nurses manage overwhelming responsibilities during long and exhausting shifts, demanding to stay on their feet to regulate patient care constantly. They struggle to carve out a healthy work-life balance and deal with overpowering occupational stress dealing with life-and-death emergencies. 

Nurses make efforts to form deep personal connections with patients and their caregivers to ease their discomfort with compassion and kindness. It’s a proven fact that nurse-patient interactions and relationships can improve clinical outcomes by helping patients manage their stress. 

Patients are more likely to trust nurses that encourage positive relationships and make their patients feel comfortable. The comfort and connection encourage patients to share intimate and often embarrassing details to help treatment outcomes. More importantly, nurse-patient rapport makes patients more receptive to treatment courses, follow-ups, and preventive care. 

Keep reading to explore how nurses can build better rapport with their patients to improve clinical outcomes. 

1. Building Trust & Credibility 

Nurses and patients are adjusting to the sudden shifts and transformations in healthcare dynamics. Trust is a crucial ingredient for solidifying relationships and building lasting connections that make us dependable for people. Patients thrive on trust and transparency and comply when they have faith in their practitioner’s judgment. 

The acute shortages of skilled physicians and healthcare staffing have put nurses at the forefront of clinical care and patient contact. Patients worldwide, particularly seniors, are overwhelmed by the absence of physicians and the increasing clinical responsibilities of nurses. 

Young nurses and new entrants are advised to pursue extra certifications for nurses and higher education programs to build credibility. Clinical care certifications, advanced training, and qualifications make healthcare providers and nurses more competent, experienced, and skilled. Patients are more likely to seek treatment from BSN and DNP nurses with years of experience and training. 

Adding more qualifications and advanced clinical skills with adequate licensure will help you build trust and credibility across your community. Your qualifications and training will silence the fears of patients and their caregivers, making them content under your care. The e-learning route facilitates nursing education and training by offering flexibility and affordability. You can learn and grow at your own pace, pursuing clinical and career advancement without neglecting your job responsibilities. 

2. Encouraging Personal Connections 

Most nurses hesitate to ask personal questions to avoid breaching professional decorum and comfort zones. Moving past cordial exchanges about the weather and asking personal questions can help make patients more comfortable. Showing a genuine interest in their lives outside the hospital, pursuits, and interests will encourage them to open up. 

But building a rapport with your patient is crucial to ensuring positive outcomes, and for that, you need to get personal. Now, this doesn’t mean you should make unwarranted inquiries into their love lives or intimate issues. Instead, focus on unraveling the patient’s hobbies, family relationships, and other mindful subjects for a fun conversation. 

Creating jokes to tease your patients and make them laugh aloud will create a warm and comfortable bond. Each individual has a different communication style and approach to building personal connections. 

Use your approach and create a bond that will make it easier to help patients fight off treatment-related anxiety and stress. 

3. Be a Good Listener 

Encouraging people to open up and share their stories makes little sense if you’re using your phone instead of listening attentively. Active listening is crucial to building connections and making your patients feel heard. 

Intent listening involves eye contact with the speaker, attentive body language, verbal responses and cues, and giving your undivided attention. Responding to the patient’s concerns and queries and giving your full attention will build a respectful relationship. And patients are most likely to commit to treatment outcomes and preventive care when they trust their care providers. 

These days, nurses can’t spend hours intently listening to their patients without being distracted by millions of chores and job responsibilities. It’s wise to give quality time instead of aiming for more extended visits because 10 minutes of undivided attention can work wonders! 

4. Empower your Patients with Knowledge 

When we genuinely care for someone, we give them the resources to build a healthier, more rewarding life. Educating patients and caregivers about the illness, treatment, preventive care, and lifestyle shifts will contribute to their empowerment. And empowering people with knowledge is the best way to build trust and respect within a relationship. 

Knowledge always builds trust by creating a bond of transparency. The idea is to help your patients understand their symptoms and treatment course to eliminate stress and confusion. 

Informal knowledge-sharing without using heavy medical jargon will create a positive nurse-patient relationship. It will also contribute to patient awareness in controlling symptoms, regulating vital signs, and avoiding habits that cause harm. 

It’s crucial to understand that using medical jargon and terminologies, especially for patients with minimal education, is highly ill-advised. You see, medical terminologies create an artificial linguistic and cultural barrier that discourages patients from getting candid and comfortable. The communication between patients and clinical care providers demands simplicity and straightforwardness to eliminate confusion. 

So, avoid turning your everyday nurse-patient interactions into the infamous physician handwriting that no one except pharmacists can decipher! 

5. Prioritizing Patient Needs & Comfort

The crux of a nurse’s duties revolves around prioritizing, anticipating, and dressing the needs of their patients. These include the clinical, physical, and emotional needs to ensure patient safety and wellbeing. In most cases, patients hospitalized or struggling with chronic illnesses don’t comprehend their own needs and emotional states. 

In such situations, nurses must step up and anticipate these needs to address them adequately. This is a skill that nurses develop with experience and clinical exposure, and a desire to care for their patients honestly. 

Final Thoughts 

Your efforts to build a rapport with your patients will never go unrewarded! They will lead to positive clinical outcomes, increased success rates, and speedy recovery for your patients. It will also help you emerge as a trustworthy and reliable community figure that enjoys respect and credibility. 

Clinical care demands personal connections and trust to promote positive outcomes by making people receptive to your advice. As a nursing professional aspiring for healthcare leadership, you must invest time and effort in engaging and connecting with patients.