A positive environment helps patients heal and recover more quickly. The more stressful an environment is, the more detrimental it can be for patients, resulting in longer illnesses and hospitalizations.
Here is a look at some ways nurses can create a positive environment for their patients.
Listen to patient concerns and express empathy
Aim for an environment where patients feel like they can talk to you about anything that concerns them or makes them feel better. This means listening carefully when patients engage you and finding subjects you can discuss to improve their outlook. For example, if you discover that someone loves to talk about their family or pets, this can be a good topic to bring up while conducting routine care.
When patients have concerns about their treatment, nurses should be as clear as possible and address their concerns. If a patient is reluctant to have a necessary treatment or procedure, empathizing and explaining why it is necessary is considered good bedside manner.
Nurses need to take steps to avoid burnout
A career in nursing is extremely rewarding and fulfilling, but it can present some challenges and stressful situations. In such an emotionally taxing job, it is easy for nurses to dedicate so much to their patients that they forget to take care of their own needs.
A nurse who is rested and in a good state of mind is much more prepared to offer the best patient experience. Setting aside some time each day for something enjoyable and finding a good work-life balance goes a long way toward creating a better patient environment.
Create a teamwork environment among all medical personnel in a department or facility
It is imperative that medical personnel have a system in place that makes it easy to work together to provide the highest level of care. This means having a framework within each branch of a medical facility that encourages teamwork and great communication. When this happens, care is administered more efficiently, with fewer time-consuming errors and far less frustration for staff and patients alike.
Communication and collaboration within different branches of larger medical facilities should also be evaluated so improvements can be made where needed. This means administrators need to encourage personnel to step forward when they notice that there are communication problems.
Take steps to attract more nurses to ensure adequate staffing levels
Even the best nurse can only take care of so many patients at once before they are overloaded and patient satisfaction starts to decline. Currently, there is a critical shortage of nurses and other medical staff. It is important that staffing levels are addressed to ensure patient satisfaction.
Nurses can help by bringing staffing issues to the attention of administrators and helping recruit others to join their facility. This may involve talking to recent graduates or encouraging others to go back to school and earn credentials so they can pursue a healthcare career.
Realize the importance of criticism and try to improve when possible.
No one is perfect, and all of us are learning every day. While some criticism may not be warranted or valid, it is important to fully process any criticism directed at you and see if there is room for improvement. Perhaps there is something you can do better to create a more positive environment for your patients or their family members. Always be willing to acknowledge your mistakes and do what you can to reassure patients that you have fully considered what they have to say and will work on improving.
Be supportive of fellow nurses and medical personnel
Helping other nurses and medical staff when they are overloaded or stressed helps create a better environment for patients. This can include taking on additional tasks if you have the time or see someone struggling, or it might entail simply listening to other medical personnel when they are having a hard day.
Sometimes, a fellow nurse must switch shifts to accommodate a family commitment or other obligation. If you can help, sometimes this can lead to a happier work environment.
Always keep learning and improving your knowledge base
The more you know about your line of work, the better the level of care you can provide will be. Earning extra credentials or going back to school to earn an advanced degree can help you create a better environment for patient healing and rehabilitation.
Go the extra mile to make patient rooms comfortable and hospitable to visitors
Hospitals and clinic patient rooms are not always the most charming or warm places. Adding some extra touches to patient rooms or taking steps to accommodate family and friends is a great way to create an environment that is more nurturing and healing. Checking in with visitors and patients is also helpful. Just bringing someone an extra blanket or providing some extra seating for visitors when needed can help. Decorating rooms so they do not appear as cold and sterile is helpful if you have the time and resources, particularly for patients with long-term stays.
Advance your skills and education
The more experience and the higher your skill level, the more you can do to help patients and create a positive environment for their treatment and healing. Baylor University Online has excellent programs for experienced nurses to earn an advanced degree on a flexible schedule. A doctorate in nursing leadership is an excellent way to advance to an executive leadership role where you will be allowed more input on the policies and procedures at your facility. This means you can make a huge difference in the patient environment.
A positive patient environment makes it easier for a patient to heal. When patients are comfortable and feel cared for, they are more likely to return for any future treatments they need. Higher rates of patient satisfaction result in more referrals to your medical facility as satisfied patients will let friends and family know about the level of care they received.