Rapport is essential to the nurse-patient relationship. It establishes a general sense of camaraderie, ensures the patient feels safe and cared for, and increases the comfort levels of the patient and provider alike. Below are three ways an in-home nurse can build healthy connections and strong rapport with the patients in their care.
How In-Home Nurses Can Build Patient Rapport
1. Make an Effort to Get to Know Your Patients as People
When you're an in-home nurse with a full caseload, it can be remarkably easy to view patients primarily through the lens of their illnesses and the medical details of their charts. But always remember that every patient is far more than the sum total of their health challenges. Get to know them as people. Ask them questions about their lives, families, and hobbies. Engage them in conversations outside of their symptoms and pain levels.
2. Listen With Attention
Patients want to be heard. They want to know that someone is listening and that their issues are being taken seriously. When they express a concern, disclose a fear, or even just share a story, actively listen to what they are saying. Make eye contact; offer nonverbal responses like head nods or a hand on the shoulder; and give a substantial reply, first checking with them to ensure you understand what they've shared.
In some cases, the patient may not even be looking for substantive advice. They might just want nothing more than to talk about something on their mind; this is especially true when an in-home nurse is caring for someone who lives alone or in a small family. Regardless of the intention, listen with full attention and an open mind.
3. Follow Through
When you promise to do something for a patient, honor that promise. This creates trust and lets them know you can be depended upon. You are entering patients' private homes, so trust is crucial, and since the patient will see you regularly, accountability is key to maintaining a good relationship. If a particular request cannot be honored, be honest with the patient and give them an explanation.
If you're looking for a rewarding career as an in-home nurse, explore the opportunities available at J&D Ultracare. We are a home health care agency serving Suffern and White Plains, NY, and all of Monroe, Orange, and Westchester counties. Pediatric nurse positions are available for both continuous care and skilled nursing visits. Call (845) 357-4500 or visit our website to learn about our current openings.