Imagine an elderly patient undergoing treatment, struggling with mobility, and having no family nearby. In such situations, nurses are their primary caregivers at the hospital or at home. A nurse must be technically skilled, able to monitor patient’s medical conditions and effectively administer medication.
These are the basic standards of care. However, in today’s changing healthcare system, the role of nurses is also evolving. A nurse can create a deeper impact in addition to these duties through compassion, companionship, and other related skills beyond the technical realm and can play an important role in improving patient’s health.
To offer effective and high-quality of care, nurses must be aware of different factors. For instance, patient empathy through effective communication enables nurses to have a personalized approach to cater to every patient.
So, if you, too, belong to the respected profession and are willing to contribute more to patient care, here are six ways to improve the quality of care.
- Advance Your Skills and Education
Advancements in healthcare are rapid, especially in terms of technology. Therefore, nurses need to be lifelong learners to provide effective care with better health outcomes. The need for advanced patient-care skills is not only in demand but is becoming a mandatory prerequisite in the healthcare industry.
For the same reason, in addition to formal and primary nursing education, nurses are now elevating their skill sets by pursuing advanced degrees. Also, several online programs are now available that you can enroll in to continue your studies with your job. Consider online BSN to DNP program for further career growth.
Continuing education will allow you to remain up-to-date with the latest industry trends and acquire better decision-making and leadership skills to provide the highest-quality patient care.
Explore different aspects of nursing, including pain management, case management, and a host of other niches, while juggling a multitude of responsibilities. All of this will help impact the overall quality of patient care.
- Offer Individualized Patient Care
Delivering individualized patient care is the key to improving the quality of care. As nurses are always in direct contact with patients, they are uniquely positioned to advocate for them and build strong relationships to provide individualized care.
Connecting with the patient, talking to them, and making them feel at ease are all parts of patient care. This will get the patient acquainted with you, and they will feel comfortable sharing their recovery journey with you. As a nurse, when you connect with your patients through their life stories, you can fully understand their self-care goals, support systems, and barriers to reaching said goals. This way, you can analyze their condition better and help create a better healthcare plan with the doctor.
One reason individualized nursing is considered one of the top ways to improve patient care is the focus on the patient during the process. As a result, today, the approach has received significant attention in the healthcare system, and nurses are being trained to adopt it.
- Effective Communication and Respect
It is no surprise that strong communication skills are the lifeblood of good nursing. In fact, nurses are of utmost significance in the chain of communication in a healthcare setting. Since doctors cannot be available to cater to each patient all day, nurses, as a part of the team, delivers doctors’ directions and communicate with patients and their families.
Strong communication skills also include discussing health issues and solutions, translating medical jargon for patients, and helping them articulate their well-being and health questions. Similarly, good communication skills are majorly about patient advocacy since not every patient has the confidence or knowledge to speak up for themselves in a hospital setting.
Another way to improve the quality of care is to practice respect. Nurses should never be decentered from humanity and only treat it as a job when it comes to patient care. They must always offer a high degree of respect. One of the characteristics of a good nurse is to maintain a professional demeanor, keep patients’ wants and wishes at the forefront of treatment and take confidentiality seriously.
- Organization and Time Management
As we know, nurses are responsible for maintaining patient records and administrating medication; managing time adequately and having good organizational skills are a matter of life and death in this profession.
Organizational skills and time management go hand in hand in nursing. These are two of the most important skills required to be a nurse. They have to take care of multiple patients at one time, document changes in their health conditions and communicate with doctors and families while keeping a check on last-minute schedule changes.
To be a better healthcare provider, a nurse needs to learn to prioritize, adapt to the situation, have impeccable organizational skills, and allocate adequate time to each task to keep up with their schedule.
- Practice Empathy
While ensuring self-discipline and organization, empathy should not be neglected. Empathy in nursing often gets challenging as nurses must maintain professional boundaries with the patients; however, it remains vital to improving the quality of care. Nurses who offer compassion make their patients feel seen and heard as valuable individuals.
Through empathy, they can better understand the patient’s needs and put them at ease to share their health concerns and problems. In short, empathetic nursing care help patients exhibit better outcomes. In contrast, a lack of it among nurses negatively impacts patient care.
- Prioritize Teamwork
Another way to ensure improved quality of care and increase patient satisfaction is prioritizing teamwork. Since nurses, doctors, and patients are all fighting against diseases, they all need to be on the same page for better patient recovery. Nurses, the primary point of contact for patients and doctors, play a crucial role in making it work. They know the doctor’s approach to the treatment and any reservations the patient may have; they can bridge the communication gap and help create a health plan according to the understanding of both the doctor and the patient.
Strong teamwork helps the entire care team to make better decisions and provide tailored patient care. It helps avoid the odds of miscommunication and negligence. For the same reason, many healthcare organizations have now adopted the approach that helps nurses foster stronger communication among all members of the care team and patients to provide more comprehensive care.
The Final Words
The role of nurses in improving healthcare for patients is critical. They are positioned at the center of the healthcare system, and their job roles have evolved significantly in the past few decades. Their job is not limited to administering medication and updating patients’ medical records; they now play an active role in providing patient care. They are important in strengthening the healthcare system and are key players in patient-centered care.
To be able to provide better care, nurses can enhance their roles in healthcare through skills that include advancing their education, showing empathy to the patients, effectively communicating with the patients and doctors, strengthening teamwork, improving organizational and time management skills, and never stopping learning. After all, caring is the essence of nursing.