Contrary to the common belief, the healthcare industry is not just limited to treating illnesses but also about enhancing patient care to lower the incidence of health issues.
A few aspects of quality patient care are performing physical examinations, conducting diagnostic tests, and carrying out the treatment plan. As every patient is different, with unique symptoms and medical history, healthcare professionals must tailor the care provided.
Quality patient care improves communication between the patient and the healthcare provider. As a result, it establishes trust among both parties and increases the likelihood of compliance with the treatment plan.
Role of Nurses in Ensuring Quality Care
Healthcare professionals like nurses play a significant role in ensuring patient care. They anticipate the patient’s fear or anxiety and take responsibility for instilling a sense of comfort and reassurance in patients at every step.
Since the caregiver’s primary role is to oversee patients, they take every measure, from monitoring patients to recording pertinent information, to ensure patient care is always top-notch.
The care provided by nurses exceeds the administration of medication or therapies. Nurses are also responsible for holistic patient care that encompasses every aspect of an individual’s well-being, from psychosocial to spiritual needs.
Ways to Improve Care Quality
While we highlighted the importance of patient care, what qualifies as good patient care? The answer is, being respectful, maintaining an organized environment, and providing clear and concise patient instructions.
Whether in a hospital or nursing home, the nurse’s prime duty is to provide exceptional injury-free patient care.
Below are a few ways nurses can improve care quality and achieve their goals.
1. Provide emotional support
Amidst the challenging times, every patient needs support. Being surrounded by machines and waiting for the test results accelerates the patient’s stress. Nurses can be that shoulder; patients can lean on. Without their support, fear or sadness impacts how patients communicate or make decisions regarding their care plan.
Moreover, emotional distress reduces the patient’s quality of life, ultimately leading to poor physical health. Excellent patient care entails picking up on cues to determine the type of emotional support every patient requires. Looking after your patients is a science and art which is only mastered through experience and guidance.
Every patient wants to feel safe and heard, so as a nurse, encourage them to talk about their fears. A nurse can do their best to offer emotional support by developing strong communication and assessment skills. Besides that, keeping patients company also instills a sense of safety in them.
2. Educate the Patients
A common notion associated with patient care is that it is all in the healthcare provider’s hands, which is not true. In fact, patients themselves play a huge role in upholding care standards because there aren’t any caregivers to prevent readmissions afterward.
That said, nurses must play their part in educating patients about proper self-manage care. Better education helps patients understand the severity of their condition and the mandatory plan of care that must be followed.
Besides reducing the likelihood of readmissions, patient education contributes to faster recovery and promotes compliance. To ascertain if the patient understands the dynamics of their health, adopt a few strategies. One of those is, as a nurse, asking patients to reiterate what you explained.
Furthermore, share details about the diagnosis and the intended treatment option. That way, patients remain well-informed about their health, which helps them prepare for a particular procedure or make any decisions about their care plan.
3. Coordinate care with other healthcare providers
When working in a care facility, nurses and other healthcare providers have to work as a team to ensure patient care is uncompromised. Nurses must collaborate with other healthcare providers to deliver more efficient and effective patient care. A team that works together succeeds together.
There are several aspects of collaborating with other healthcare providers to deliver promising results. These key aspects include sharing patient data at all levels within the organization. Doing so ensures that every healthcare professional is on the same page, reducing the risk of medical negligence.
In addition, care management platforms must also be in place to enable effective communication among healthcare providers. Apart from that, these platforms have various functions that enhance patient care quality.
They give patients access to their own medical records, enhance patient-doctor communication, and improve care plan compliance.
4. Involve the patient’s family
As per the AMA Journal of Ethics, part of ensuring patient care is taking in the support and contribution of loved ones. Family members are essential to patient care due to several reasons. Families hold valuable information about patient’s medical history and preferences that might help healthcare providers during the plan of care decision-making.
Another reason loved ones must be involved in patient care is that they enhance patient outcomes by offering emotional support. Families must be updated with every advancement in patient care so they can be involved in the decision-making.
Family members help improve care outcomes by assisting patients in adhering to the treatment plan or taking prescribed medication. Discuss how family members can assist with care routines or offer assistance. As a nurse, form a solid partnership with the family to achieve the desired treatment outcomes.
In the end, involving the family in patient care only works in the patient’s favor. Moreover, introducing the family members to the care process creates an environment open to discussions and questions.
5. Be Empathetic
Empathy is essential not only for physical well-being but also for emotional wellness. As a nurse, empathy is a critical part of your practice. That is so because empathy helps you intellectually connect with your patients to offer individualized quality care.
Being empathetic is a roadmap to establishing a trustworthy relationship with patients that leads to fruitful outcomes. A few of these include alleviating suffering, safety, improved care outcomes, and compliance with treatment plans.
Patients with various health issues tend to have better healthcare outcomes from empathetic nursing care. That is because empathetic nurses understand patients’ needs better and always put their concerns above everything.
Lack of empathy during practice only leads to poor results, from ineffective treatment to patients feeling neglected or confused. So if you don’t want to jeopardize patient care, some ways of being empathetic toward your patients are listening to patients, being respectful, and developing cultural awareness.
Nurses are the pillar that upholds the healthcare sector and ensures patient care. Patient care matters because the primary goal is to promote health and reduce the number of hospital visits. That goal is achieved when nurses are doing their job.
Although a primary care provider oversees the diagnosis and the treatment protocol, nurses ascertain that quality care is provided at every step. That said, nurses must always strive to offer quality services, even involving family members in the care process or coordinating with other healthcare providers.