Nurses are wonderful people that dedicate their lives to helping others. When nursing students graduate, they are very passionate about their new jobs. However, within a few months, they start seeing the job from a different perspective and realize that they often suffer because of tiring schedules and difficult-to-handle patients.
Nurse burnout can have profound consequences on professionals’ work. It can lead nurses to make mistakes on the job and compromise the quality of care they deliver to patients. This may lead to litigation issues and nurses losing their license too.
Hence, as a nurse, you must take steps to ensure you are able to provide patients with better care. Listed below are some suggestions that may come in handy.
1. Maintain An Excellent Patient-Nurse Relationship
Developing a healthy nurse-patient relationship will help you understand your patients and care for them better. Since you’ll be spending more time with them than doctors, getting to know your patients is essential. Talk to them, ask them questions about their health, and build a friendly rapport.
2. Upgrade Your Qualifications And Skills
It is always essential for nurses to keep themselves updated with the latest happenings and knowledge in the medical and nursing practice. For instance, aspiring practitioners can enroll for an RN to BSN degree to further educate themselves about modern trends in nursing that allow them to provide better care. With this, they will be able to implement the most appropriate nursing strategies and therefore reduce failure rates.
In addition, nurses can also specialize in different areas of nursing. For example, if you want to focus on family care, becoming an FNP would be suitable. Additional specializations focus on treating older adults, kids, mental health patients, inmates, etc. By opting for one of these, you can make healthcare more accessible to different types of patients with unique care needs.
3. Make Use Of Medical Equipment
Nurses need to dedicate themselves entirely to helping patients get better and avoid making mistakes that could prove costly. For instance, x-ray machines are often used for taking images of patients’ bones before physicians can provide them with a diagnosis. If nurses delay the process, patients might suffer longer than they should. So, ensure you’re familiar with medical equipment to speed up diagnostic processes and treatment.
4. Exercise Patience And Empathy
Patients look for support from their nurses during the most challenging times. Therefore, it is essential to understand the patient’s perspective and empathize with them. Only then can nurses provide better care.
Conversely, even though nurses need to be empathetic towards their patients, they must also avoid showing signs of pity. This might give the patient an impression you are weak and unable to cope with the pressures of the nursing job. So, don’t mix up the two emotions.
5. Look Out For Suicidal Tendencies
Most often than not, nurses find themselves taking care of patients suffering from depression. It is not easy to determine whether a patient has suicidal tendencies or consumes medication that lead to such feelings.
Since nurses need to stay alert and save patients from harming themselves, they need to take note of warning signs that point towards suicidal tendencies. For instance, a nurse can note whether a patient has made any statements in the recent past that suggest suicidal thoughts. In addition, they should also pay attention to whether the patient has developed signs of self-harm, such as cutting themselves. If need be, it’s best to stage a suicide intervention.
6. Maintain A Healthy Work-Life Balance
Even though nurses are contractually obligated to work in shifts, it doesn’t mean they can neglect their duties during their off-duty hours. It is advised for nurses to take a break from work only after putting in several hours at the hospital.
Nurses can’t provide care to patients effectively if they are too tired or having problems in their personal lives. To ensure that they are in their best state to provide care, nurses must maintain a healthy work-life balance. A healthy work-life balance will prevent you from burning out.
7. Keep Track Of Patients’ Symptoms
One of the tasks that nurses need is to monitor their patients’ symptoms and take necessary precautions. For instance, nurses need to check whether their patients suffer from dehydration. If any patient develops such symptoms, the nurse has to act promptly by increasing the flow of water into their bodies.
8. Take Care Of Patients’ Hygiene
Nurses have to take good care of patients’ hygiene to avoid falling sick. Nurses are known to take care of patients who develop various health problems, such as urinary tract infections, skin rashes, and diarrhea.
Since patients are vulnerable to developing health problems caused by their weakened immune systems, nurses need to ensure that they take good care of themselves. For instance, they can take precautions by washing their hands several times a day and keeping their uniforms clean.
9. Pay Attention To Nutrition
Compared with other branches of medicine, nursing is often considered one of the most challenging jobs. Nurses need to stay on their feet all the time and respond to patients’ requests regularly.
In such circumstances, nurses can’t pay due attention to their patient’s nutritional needs. However, nurses need to get enough rest during their off-duty hours to stay alert and energetic.
10. Keep Your Patients Informed
Nurses are known to treat their patients more like friends than strangers. They spend a considerable amount of time talking to their patients, who appreciate the nurse’s efforts. Given the time nurses spend with their patients, they need to ensure patients are informed about their health status. To ensure patients know their condition, nurses need to provide regular updates on their treatments and tests. By keeping their patients informed, nurses can ensure that they are comfortable in the hospital.
Nurses play a critical role in patients’ lives, and, understandably, they can get overwhelmed. This can lead to them compromising the quality of care patients receive. However, this article mentions a few tips nurses can employ to ensure patients receive the best care possible. So, nurses must consider honing their knowledge and skills, practice work-life balance, and take care of their own needs to provide better care.