by Melanie L. Bowen –
Developing a positive nurse/patient relationship can play a crucial role in how well a nurse is able to play a therapeutic part to a patient who is chronically ill. Chronically ill patients may vary from being argumentative and volatile to bashful to easy-going.
Learning how to professionally communicate with patients of all personalities in a clear, concise and caring way will help a nurse to earn the respect and trust of a patient.
Developing trust and respect may lead to a patient being more communicative and this is vital to a nurse learning how the medical team can best treat a patient effectively.
Establishing Rapport and Building Communication with a Patient
If a patient does not have confidence or trust in a nurse, the nurse may feel frustrated and helpless in the sense that he or she is unsure if there are any unaddressed symptoms or problems the patient is experiencing.
Patients are more likely to open up and communicate with a nurse once a genuine rapport and a friendly-professional relationship is established. The word friendly is used in the sense that it is important that patients feel comfortable enough with the nurse that he or she will share any aches, pains or physical or emotional symptoms that the patient has experienced.
Developing good communication skills with a patient could have a major impact on how well a nurse and the attending doctor will be able to treat the patient. In addition to this, if a patient feels uncomfortable with a nurse, he or she may remain in a hopeless state of mind and this will not help the patient’s overall ability to fight a major disease or illness.
Many nurses are busy and it can be easy to slip into a pattern of breezing in and out of patients’ rooms without doing much more than a quick check of charts and vitals.
Every time a nurse takes a few minutes to communicate with the patient could increase the odds of establishing a healthy nurse/patient relationship. People who have leukemia, a mesothelioma diagnosis, lung cancer, breast cancer, and other forms of major and chronic illnesses are often dejected and worried about a large number of things.
A little word of encouragement from a nurse and attentive medical care will make a huge difference in how well the person is receptive to treatment and on-going follow-up care.
The Nurses Association of New Brunswick has created a timely publication on how to develop healthy boundaries and positive forms of communications with patients. No matter what cancer you may be battling or what illness that you are going through, find a medical staff that allows you to feel comfortable. Don’t give up the fight and find people in who will have your best intention at heart.