5 Tips to Effectively Earn Your Patient’s Trust
How do you earn your patient’s trust? Earning our patient’s trust is vital to us nurses. We can provide them with the best nursing care if they trust us.
But how can we gain our patient’s trust? Is there a magic word to use?
Every Patient is Different
Not all patients are the same. They all have different personalities, moods, and preferences. Sometimes, it’s hard to guess what kind of mood our patients are in, especially when they’re in pain for some time.
As nurses, we must adjust our personalities to our patients. We cannot be angry or grumpy when the patient screams at us.
We have to be firm but gentle towards them at the same time. Seeing them beyond their pain and complaints is the first step to earning their trust.
So how can we gain our patient’s trust? Here’s how
#1. Introduce yourself and address your patient by their name
The first thing you must do in building any relationship is to introduce yourself. An introduction is an obvious thing to do, especially in a healthcare setting where you care for different patients. Just like building a relationship, an introduction is the first step.
However, introducing yourself to your patient is sometimes forgotten in a busy healthcare unit or setting. But remember that you will be the patient’s first point of contact for their concerns, calls for help, or inquiries.
It is vital that they feel like they know you and are receiving personal care from you. We cannot always remember every patient’s name, so an initial introduction is crucial.
Introduce yourself and shake your patient’s hand. Tell them your name and who you are. Ask them what they prefer to be called and take note of this on their chart.
It will ensure a consistent level of care even when staff changes. It will also help the patient feel at ease, knowing they have someone to call if needed.
#2. Always dress professionally
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “First impressions always last.” This phrase is accurate, so how your patient sees you is essential. How you introduce yourself is one thing, but how you show up is another.
As nurses, we must dress appropriately. Wearing a nurse’s uniform is one way, as most people will think that a person wearing that uniform has the proper training and knows what they’re doing.
But make sure that your scrubs or uniform are clean and pressed. It will create the right impression. Avoid showing up in your patient’s room with blood-stained scrubs or drenched in puke or body fluids.
Your patients may not be comfortable with you and may not cooperate with you at all. Always keep your appearance as positive as possible.
#3. Listen to your patients.
Going in and out of your patient’s room is easy, especially when you’re taking their vital signs. You can mutter a few words while writing information on their charts but earning your patient’s trust is more than that. If you want to build trust:
- Talk to them.
- Make eye contact and actively listen.
- Ask questions, and converse with them.
- Pay attention to your body language, sit in front of them, and make it clear that they have your attention.
Sometimes, taking a break from your usual nurse routines and being present with the patient. Take time to hear them out and listen to them express themselves.
When a patient knows they’re being listened to will make them feel confident that their concerns are addressed. That makes them trust you as their nurse.
#4. Keep your word
It’s tempting to comfort a distressed patient by telling them that things will be okay. However, you must make sure that you act with integrity and honesty at all times.
Patients and their families appreciate honesty even though your honesty can sometimes be hard to accept. Avoid making false promises. Keep your word by following through with what you tell your patient. It is one of the best ways to earn their trust.
You don’t have to promise anything significant. Following through with simple acts can help your patient feel they can rely on you. If you say you’ll be back in an hour, then be back in an hour.
Again, keep your word. If you can’t guarantee this, tell them you’ll likely be called away to an emergency or other tasks. Again, don’t make any promises you can’t keep.
Our work demands are unpredictable, especially in a busy healthcare setting. If this happens, ask someone to speak with your patient, maybe another colleague familiar with your patient, and keep them updated on what is happening. These are a few ways to earn your patient’s trust.
#5. Be Trustworthy
To be trusted means you have to be trustworthy too. Being open and honest with your patient is one step. And even when the situation is unfavorable, keeping your honesty is a must.
Your honesty may not always be a comfortable place to be in, but your patients and their families will appreciate it.
Always keep your word, and do not promise anything you can’t do. When your patients trust you, building a relationship with them can help improve their recovery time, making administering treatment more manageable.
Therefore for your patients to trust you, you must also put in the effort and show them that you’re genuine with your intentions to help them.
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