Provide the best care for your patients!
Practical nurses are essential for providing every-day care and assistance to patients during times of illness or pain. They assist patients with feeding, bathing, and clothing throughout the day. Practical nurses also need to communicate with their patients and their families on a daily basis.
As a practical nurse, you’ll be working in close environments with your patients. To make sure that your patients are getting the best care possible, it’s essential to be kind, understanding, and caring towards them. Part of being a practical nurse means understanding and being sensitive towards your patients who are unwell or need care.
Here are five ways you can show compassion:
Step #1: Empathy
Being able to understand and empathize with your patients is an essential trait of any practical nurse. Remember to put yourself in your patients’ shoes and be sensitive to the way they may be feeling. Acknowledging and respecting patients’ concerns, wishes, or viewpoints can help them feel cared for and validated. It may also help the practical nurse and the patient communicate more freely and clearly with each other. Building trust and understanding with patients helps you to provide the best care possible.
Step #2: Listen to your patients
Always listen to your patients. If they have a health issue or complaint, then listening helps you to understand and comfort them appropriately. Listening will allow you to pick up on symptoms or feelings that a patient may not be aware of or doesn’t know how to express. Ask them questions about their physical and emotional needs as well as care-giving preferences. If they want to be served meals a certain way, accommodate them if possible. Listening to what patients say and then acting upon their requests can greatly improve their situation.
Step #3: Be positive towards others
Remain positive throughout your interactions with your patients and their families. Positivity shows your warmth towards patients and helps them to feel more comfortable around you. Your body language and the tone of your voice can help show others that you are kind and open-hearted. Giving your patients honest, positive feedback on their progress can help give them the support they need.
Here are some ways you can show positivity towards your patients:
- Face your patients while conversing
- Make eye contact
- Use a kind tone of voice
- Speak with positive affirmations to your patients
- Nod your head when you understand
- Respect your patients’ choices
- Treat your patients like equals
- Stay calm in emergencies
Step #4: Interact and socialize
Get to know your patients so you can understand them and their interests. Share and be open about your interests and see if they can reciprocate in socializing. Ask them about their interests, hobbies, and families. Getting to know your patients can help you empathize with them better. It may also help your patients feel more relaxed around you when you’re assisting them with bathing or feeding. Practical nurses who work in long-term healthcare facilities should try to socialize with their patients every day. Sometimes patients in these long-term care facilities don’t have family members nearby with whom they can socialize. Take a moment to chat with your patients about their day. If you have time, maybe you can even spend some quality time with them. Try reading a book or watching TV with them while you feed them.
Step #5: Check in on patients
Part of your job is to know and assist with patients’ health status. Remember to check in with patients regularly to see if they need any help. They may have a request, a complaint, or a health concern. In between tasks, make sure to stop by your patients’ rooms to see if you can get them anything in particular. For example, if a patient needs a cup of water to drink with their medication, be sure to get them one. Being thoughtful can help build strong bonds with your patients.
You are essential to help comfort your patients. Remain positive when interacting and providing care to those who need it. Always understand that everyone moves at their own pace. Be understanding of your patients’ different ideas and lifestyle choices.
Hopefully, these tips will reinforce why it’s so important to be compassionate towards your patients. You can best represent your healthcare facility and yourself by always being as kind and courteous to your patients as possible!
Harris Casel provides career advice and student tips in its weekly blog. Harris Casel offers a practical nurse training program and five other healthcare training tracks. For more information on our career programs at our Melbourne, FL campus, contact us today!