Nurses are the core of the healthcare industry. Their job is to provide quality care and support to patients and their families at the front lines of health care. In the wake of the recent pandemic, nurses once again proved themselves to be vitally important in providing efficient care to both inpatients and outpatients in hospitals and clinics. Nurses ensure that you receive the best treatment possible today and are dedicated to increasing the quality of care in the future.
Since nurses interact directly with patients, they need to create strong connections with patients and show empathy. Nurses need to consider various aspects to provide the best possible patient care. Here are eight ways they can do it:
- Improve Nursing Skills
Quality patient care is directly associated with a nurse’s experience, exposure, and field knowledge. They must consistently learn about new developments in medical research, patient psychology, and nursing methodologies, apart from refreshing and expanding their existing knowledge. For this purpose, nurses must participate in continuing their education, seek on-job training, and learn from seniors.
If you are a nurse practitioner, taking an advanced nursing degree, such as a doctor of nursing program (DNP), will help you improve the quality of patient care. Nurses with busy schedules can opt for an online BSN to DNP program and prepare for advanced nursing practice without disrupting their routines. With this program, they can choose flexible timings to accommodate their busy schedule and complete the program within 34 to 44 months.
To ensure that nurses provide quality care, they must remain current with the latest research, take advantage of online resources, and seek opportunities to handle diverse patient populations. Getting an advanced degree in nursing can also open new avenues for highly lucrative nursing careers and leadership roles.
- Stay Up-to-Date on Best Practices
Staying current on the latest best nursing practices can greatly help improve patient care. While advanced education is one of the best ways to keep abreast of the latest medical research and best practices in patient care, there are also additional options.
Nurses should actively participate in workshops, webinars, conferences, meetings, and seminars to learn about the latest developments in healthcare, nursing, medications, therapies, and treatment methodologies. They should join online nursing networks to connect with practitioners worldwide and share information on current trends, medical research, and best practices. Nurses must also stay informed on healthcare policies, rules, and regulations and help implement changes.
- Deliver Individualized Patient Care
Individualized nursing is critical to providing quality patient care as it allows nurses to tailor a patient’s care to their specific needs. Research shows that more than 81% of patients reported positive physical and mental health outcomes of individualized patient care, particularly in patients suffering from life-threatening or terminal diseases.
An individualized approach to patient care minimizes anxiety and builds trust. It accelerates patient treatment in emergency departments, pre or post-surgery medicine administration, and general medical practices. It also helps increase patient satisfaction, willingness toward self-care, and general awareness about their disease and treatment. As a nurse, you can better understand their goals, challenges, and support systems for self-care.
- Empower Patients Towards Self-Care
Self-care is an important factor for inpatients so they can feel more control over themselves. Patients who have never been hospitalized may feel a loss of control and have trouble dealing with their health condition. When they find themselves completely dependent on healthcare staff, it can induce frustration, anxiety, and fear.
To provide quality care and prevent patients from feeling vulnerable, nurses must educate patients and assist them in deciding how to proceed with self-care. When nurses empower patients toward self-care, they no longer need to remind them about their daily dose, diet choices, and additional precautions. They can do this by helping them create individualized goals, encouraging patients to ask open-ended questions, and taking family and friends on board.
- Show Compassion and Empathy
Compassion and empathy are those traits typically associated with nursing. They are among the essential factors in providing quality patient care and indispensable qualities for nurses who want to advance in their careers. Compassion offers the right levels of reassurance every patient needs. Nurses must be aware of patients’ suffering and ways to alleviate it. When nurses actively listen to patients’ concerns, it reduces pain, causes faster recovery, and shorter hospital stays.
Showing empathy is an excellent technique that can make a difference in patient care. The more your patients feel heard, attended to, and taken care of, the more likely they will trust you as their nurse and participate in their treatment plan.
- Act as Patient Advocates
Providing help and support to patients is imperative to quality care. Besides showing empathy and compassion and providing routine medical treatment, nurses act as their patient’s advocates. This is what sets them apart from all other professions.
Nurses can improve patient care by treating them with the respect they are worthy of and preserving their dignity. Nurses must consider individual beliefs, cultural backgrounds, ethnic values, and religious practices. They should consider patients’ privacy concerns and maintain the same level of empathy, support, and professionalism for all patients.
A nurse’s profession is powered by the need to serve humanity, help people in distress, and make people’s lives better. Nurses can make a huge difference in patient care by helping patients manage pain and prevent situations that can cause physical and mental agony.
- Take Part in Improving Patient Care Policies and Procedures
Nurses serve as an intermediary between healthcare management and patients. With experience and exposure to a diverse population of patients, nurses have the right to suggest improvements in patient care policies and procedures. This can help improve quality of patient care and streamline hospital procedures. Providing coordinated and comprehensive care requires nurses to discover new methods and techniques to help patients and their families.
Nurses can also suggest ways to maintain hygiene in the hospital environment and organize the work effectively to prevent human errors in patient handling and avoid spreading infections.
- Improving the Lives of Families
Nurses have an equal influence on patient families. They can help improve the lives of families by providing help and support and showing empathy to families in their time of need. Nurses make sure that all the concerns of a patient’s family are heard, understood, and taken care of. They provide emotional and spiritual support to families, educate them about patient self-care and home treatment, and help them make critical decisions concerning patients’ treatment. They are usually the first ones to interact with families in the event of a patient’s death, and this is where showing support and empathy becomes critical.
The quality of care provided to patients in a healthcare facility is entirely determined by the training, education, exposure, and experience nurses have received. Nurses are inherently deeply proud of their selfless service to patients. To ensure nurses provide quality care, healthcare facilities must nurture an environment for nurses where they can show their potential to the best of their ability. This will allow them to focus mostly on patient care and better understand their patients’ requirements. If you are a nurse or plan to become one, the list above will help you learn and use best practices for quality patient care.