As a caregiver, you’re responsible daily for caring for patients facing various medical issues and conditions. The relationships you have with patients can often impact the quality of care you deliver on a regular basis, as well as your fulfillment. According to a recent Forbes article, studies reveal that effective patient communication results in higher levels of patient satisfaction, improved outcomes, and increased adherence to treatment plans.
Here are some of the most effective ways to improve relationships with patients and enhance your level of care:
Use open-ended questions.
One of the most effective communication techniques with patients is to ask open-ended questions. These may be questions like “Have you noticed any changes in how you’re feeling?” or “How can I help you today?” These types of statements demonstrate empathy while allowing patients to express themselves in the most natural and comfortable way. Open-ended questions allow patients to share their feelings in a way that’s best for them.
Improve nonverbal communication.
In addition to verbal communication, your nonverbal communication can be just as impactful on patient care. Improving your body language – such as making eye contact and using appropriate hand gestures – can help you better connect with patients and show them that you’re actively listening to their needs and concerns. Awareness of your nonverbal cues and how patients perceive them is key for enhancing your overall communication and bedside manner.
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Utilize clear communication.
How you communicate can have a major impact on your relationships with patients. Clear and effective communication can improve your interactions with patients and ensure they fully understand their diagnoses, treatment plans, and medications. Asking patients if they have questions and following up with them regularly will also help establish open lines of communication that result in positive relationship-building.
The takeaway? Taking steps to improve patient relationships will allow you to deliver more personalized care throughout your healthcare career.
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