Let’s face it: as a nurse, it is important to create a strong relationship with your patient. Building a good rapport will have such a positive impact not only on your career, but also on your experience with the patient and on the overall satisfaction.
Here are a few essential tips to build a good rapport with your patients:
1. Get to know your patient
The key to keep your patient cooperative and in good spirits is to get to know him and express empathy. Simply ask about his hobbies and interests, about his family or what makes him happy. The 2-3 minutes’ time can help to better understand your patient’s personality and can reflect positively on the bound that you want to create.
If you want to show respect, you need to take your time to call your patients by their name. After introducing yourself, simply ask how they would like to call them. This will help them reduce the anxiety of the visit and they will feel more comfortable. Don’t forget to note their response and share this with the rest of your nursing staff.
2. Listen and understand
Although active listening looks quite easy, research shows that we remember 25% up to 50% of what we hear. Clearly it is fundamental to listen to what your patient is saying, but you can’t imagine how much you will benefit from simply be present and listen. By becoming a good listener you are increasing the chance of better understanding your patient and give him the best advice. In addition to that, listening demonstrates appreciation and value.
By asking, looking, observing and listening to the patient, you can learn what is important for the patient as a human being and how to help him.
The language you are using should be simple and conversational.
- Avoid using a medical jargon.
- Remain calm and relaxed during the conversation.
3. Predict and anticipate their needs
Anticipation means looking ahead at what might happen with your patient and determining what he might need. Furthermore, verbalize your thoughts and don’t forget to ask questions.
If you are able to predict and anticipate your patient’s needs, you will gain order, control and trust. Anticipating their needs will show them that you do care and that you are doing all that you can to provide them with the best care plan.
4. Use body language
Research shows that words represent 6% of our communication: 38% is through the tone of voice and 55% through our body language. Beside words, the key is to speak calm and to use the appropriate body language.
- Your movements should be smooth, rhythmic and purposeful
- Always explain to your patient what you are doing.
One more way to show your patient that you really care is to send a follow-up e-mail or call. Simply get in touch with your patient to check if everything is going well. This follow-up will create a really nice feeling and it will help to build a strong relationship.
Do not forget that building a trustful nurse-patient relationship is not one time action, but an on-going process which takes time!
The patients want to know that they are heard, they have been understood and that somebody really cares about them. When they feel it, they will respect the relationship with you and they will want to help and collaborate in their recovery process.