Patient satisfaction now plays a crucial role in the progress of the development of our medical industry. That’s why professionals dread the outcomes of poor communication with patients. Healthcare providers work on their communication skills to better understand their clients. Interacting with patients helps improve the services offered by healthcare professionals. These interactions involve rapid rapport-building methods that revolve around patient-centered conversation techniques. Medical workers can incorporate these techniques into their daily practices to establish strong relationships with the patients. Here are some simple methods to build effective bonds with your clients.
Importance of rapport-building in nursing
Communication with your patients is as significant as among colleagues. Hence, it seems proper to first define what “rapport” means. Derived from French, this word signifies a relationship involving sympathy. Nurses/doctors establish a connection with their clients based on mutual trust, respect, and dependence. This rapport enables healthcare professionals to engage comfortably with patients and provide reliable medical services. Now, let’s discuss few tips for building such a bond;
1. Enhance your office:
The workspace settings must exhibit your professional attitude throughout the session. Avoid backlighting in which the luminous object is placed directly beneath you. Conduct your telecare sessions in a quiet location with ample space. Don’t allow your family (especially children) to interfere and create disturbance for the patient. Privacy must be maintained to enable your clients’ confidence in your judgment and trust in your diagnosis as a medical expert.
2. Improve your Skills:
We have observed how the 21st century brought technological innovations into everyday practice and normalized telemedicine. Healthcare professionals can’t keep up with the modern requirements unless they possess the right sort of education. Today, a nurse practitioner can pursue FNP online programs to gain expertise essential for surviving in the medical field. Constant pedagogy helps you hone your skills and understand the issues faced by a modern patient and offer relevant solutions.
3. The eye contact:
Maintaining eye contact helps engage them in the conversation and facilitates better understanding. It shows patients that you’re genuinely interested in their problems and sympathizes with their disorders. Keeping eye contact communicates compassion and enhances the doctor-patient relationship. Look directly into the camera during a telehealth session. Be careful about the camera angle. Remember that face-to-face communication is the key to a healthy practice.
4. Open communication:
Effective dialogues involve transparency. That’s why healthcare professionals should pursue the process of “open communication.” This procedure motivates patients to become more honest about their medical misfortunes and previous record. People open up to you and are more prone to share their feelings. Transparent dialogues improve patient outcomes and enhance your professional skills. An exchange of information is always beneficial for the medical industry.
5. Listen to the patient:
Try sharing the patient’s thoughts and feelings. Active listening helps you practice a holistic approach towards healthcare and provide more sophisticated medical facilities. Remember that communication is a two-way street. That’s why active listening has many benefits. In William Osler’s words, the patient tells you “his/her diagnosis” if you listen. Try to find the intent behind the patient’s words. And never interrupt your patient or try breaking his/her flow.
6. Effective mirroring:
Imitating your patient’s body language and behavior makes him/her more drawn to you and helps swiftly establish rapport. The synchronization of the doctor-patient relationship is crucial to increase the strength of this bond. For instance, if the person prefers to speak in a whisper, you should lower your voice too. On the other hand, if the patient speaks stridently, elevate your volume as well. Mirror his/her attitude to give the person a sense of familiarity with you.
7. The five steps:
You can further improve your communication and rapport-building techniques by following the five-step process. Ask your patient what’s going on in his/her life. Then inquire how some particular event has affected the patient. Pose a question about troubles in his/her life. Then ask how the person is handling these troubles. Finally, observe the person’s struggles and appreciate his/her determination.
8. A personal touch:
Patients want their doctors/nurses to be normal human beings. Though the medical staff has to keep their emotions at bay, it isn’t wrong to express compassion for the miserable. Adding a human touch or a personal touch helps patients become more honest about their issues. Make them feel like welcomed guests in the institution and not just random customers. Use niceties such as “thank you” more often. Personalize your services by giving off your name while treating the patients.
Public-dealing and communication skills are indispensable qualities for a modern-day healthcare provider. These abilities help healthcare professionals to build healthy relationships with their clients resulting in an improved patient experience. Building rapport with your patients concludes with fewer clerical errors and nurtured consumer satisfaction. Studies show that “poor communication” is responsible for lawsuits filed and legal actions against the medical staff. On the other hand, efficient rapport-building contributes not only to satisfied patients. But it also reforms medical procedures by making them safer, highly productive, and more comfortable for everyone.