Communication between nurses and patient family members is an essential component of healthcare. A nurse is a vital part of the healthcare team, but not all nurses possess the skills, knowledge, and personality required to build strong relationships with their patient’s families. Research shows that nurses who are more attuned to the families they interact with offer better care. This article aims to provide a basic framework for nurses in inpatient to nurse-patient communication to understand better how it is critical to building relationships with their patients.
Effective communication between nurses and patient family members can be challenging to achieve. We often hear horror stories of nurses who become mean and abusive, cursing and swearing at patients in bed and generally making the situation worse. Nurses should always practice compassion and professionalism when dealing with patients in pain, especially when their feelings are involved. If you feel you are exhibiting these behaviors, it is essential to stop them now.
It is important to remember that nurses should always show respect for their privacy when interacting with a patient. If a nurse has questions or needs to discuss personal issues with a patient, they should refer to a nurse’s log or record a nurse’s professional judgment. All communication between nurse and patient should take place in a confidential setting. A nurse should remember that patients trust nurses to listen to their concerns and their illness. Any nurse who fails to maintain this trust leaves a wrong impression of the nurse and may cause the patient to develop a negative attitude toward the medical field.
The key to successful communication between nurse and patient family members is to keep it simple. This plan should be followed consistently by both the nurse and the patient. A nurse should never assume responsibility for a situation and use their best communication skills to deal with patients.
Many times family members are frustrated because the nurses spend so much time with one individual patient only. Family members are often concerned that the nurse will not spend enough time with other family members. These tensions must be left behind during every visit between nurse and patient. This interaction is what helps to ensure a strong relationship between nurse and patient.
To build effective communication between nurse and patient family, the nurse should first identify which staff member is assigned to that patient. This allows the nurse to quickly get to know which staff members have specific areas of responsibility and communication to the family. These staff members should then be allowed to learn more about the family. The nurse should also consider having family members take the same role at the same time to build unity within the family. When nurses offer help in the home, they often find more empathy and understanding towards their patients.
When nurses begin helping the patient family, patient experience goals need to make sure that everyone listens. If not, communication can break down. For this to happen, the nurse may need to remind the patient family that they are all present and on-site for the communication process to run smoothly. While the nurse is talking, the patient may ask questions or other relevant comments.
Sometimes the family may have other family members who can act as mediators in the discussion between the nurse and patients. The nurse may have to step in and offer advice on approaching this conversation. Even though a nurse spends a great deal of time working with patients, families do want to feel as though the nurse is always available to them. The ability for the nurse to offer advice without constantly becoming distracted by what the patient may be asking can leave both the nurse and patient feeling calm and relaxed.