How RNs Can Improve Patient Care

The medical professional is not all about treating diseases; it’s also about improving patient care in any possible way. Patient-focused care has a range of benefits, and all can enhance the life quality of the patient and nurses alike.

Understanding patient-focused care

Patient-focused care consists of sharing information with patients that are customized to their specific beliefs, needs and expectations. It’s always a good idea to keep in mind that patients are human beings. Although they are down with an infection or condition, it doesn’t mean they should be treated any less. If anything, they deserve respect and compassion.

Patient care and outcomes

Different studies have shown a correlation between quality care and health outcomes in patients. Quality patient care leads to more positive patient experience and can enhance both the mental and physical quality of life for patients with severe conditions like cancer. Customization of care also assists patients to overcome anxieties and fears that are often associated with hospital settings.

Other than health outcomes, patient-centered care also presents a range of positive effects. Compassion and communication are seen to improve the trust levels between the caregivers and patients, consequently enhancing the overall satisfaction rates. Patients also have higher chances of adhering to treatment recommendations when they are provided with more information and respect.

There are plenty of things you can do as a nurse to enhance patient care in your facility. In this article, we shall highlight some of these things to help you make a positive impact on your hospital.

Advance your skills and knowledge

One of the greatest ways to offer superior patient care is by mastering your expertise. Continuous education enhances the quality of nursing health care as well as the effectiveness of patient care, which in turn, upholds and improves patient safety. There is a direct correlation between well-educated nursing workforce and quality patient care. It is when you are knowledgeable about the patient’s condition that you can deliver quality care solutions to help get them back on their feet. So, it might be about time you went back to school to advance your skills. The good news is that you don’t have to go back to a physical class and all the pressures. You can join an online nursing school for your bachelors or masters degree.

Offer personalized patient care

It is not uncommon for nurses and other medical practitioners to refer or treat a patient like another number. In fact, a walk down a nursing unit hall will reveal that nurses refer to patients with tags like “CHF patient in room 10,” and so on. Unfortunately, doing this only removes the human touch from the process. And this is only one example. Instead of offering cookie-cutter solutions, you may want to tailor services according to the individual patient. This, in turn, will allow you to provide bespoke care, personalized to the patient’s needs and desires. Taking time to connect with your patients through their name and real-life stories helps you to understand their health goals, challenges and support systems better.

Empower towards self-care

While it’s true that your job entails providing total care, empowering patients towards self-care should be your goal. You can do this by using motivational interviewing, open-ended questions and personalized care-planning to come up with customized goals for the patient. This way, when the patient is discharged from the nursing unit, you won’t need to remind them about their insulin doses, food choices or daily weights.

Cultivate a culture of trust

Trust is a fundamental characteristic of the patient-nurse relationship. Patients must trust that you’ll work in their best interest to attain optimal health outcomes. Studies reveal that trust is a strong predictor of a patient proceeding with their caregiver. Trust extents in various aspects of the caregiver-patient relationship including, but not limited to, your ability to listen to them, their ability to believe that you value patient autonomy, and their comfort level with regards to expressing and engaging in conversation around their health issues.

Be compassionate and empatheticPatients will trust you more when they feel cared about, heard and understood. Being kind and empathetic is a great way to connect with patients and also improve your patient care standards.