When it comes to the quality of patient care, nurses hold high positions. They work tirelessly to improve patient outcomes, ensure high-quality care while reducing healthcare costs, and enrich patient satisfaction.
As a nurse, your primary duty is to provide high-quality care to your patients while maintaining their dignity and respect and providing individualized care based on each patient’s needs, regardless of age or gender.
Nurses also share decision-making responsibility with physicians, which involves all aspects of health status, including diagnosis, risk factors, symptom management strategies, and objectives related to therapy delivery.
Nurses with advanced learning and exceptional skills can provide better clinical services than those without them. Per the BLS, the projected growth rate of Nurse Practitioners in the U.S. is 40% from 2021-2031, with a median annual pay of $123,780.
With that said, let’s look at ways nurses can improve patient care quality:
1. Advanced Education
The nursing profession deals with the health and well-being of people at large. Nurses need to acquaint themselves with advanced learning and skills which can be used to improve patient care quality. Nurses with advanced education and training are more likely to use evidence-based practices, which means they can provide better patient care.
Nurses can keep up with current developments in their field by:
- Reading publications from professional organizations
- Attending conferences and meetings
- Taking part in continuing education courses and degrees
Today, several nursing schools offer courses and degrees that focus on teaching the latest techniques used in the healthcare industry. These programs also provide lucrative career opportunities for nurses who want to excel as leaders.
Nurses with a bachelor’s degree can opt for an MSN to DNP online degree to enhance their career and professional development. It helps improve clinical research and management skills while providing an opportunity for networking with other medical professionals with similar interests in the industry.
2. Effective Communication Skills
You cannot improve patient care quality as a nurse without effective communication skills. As a nurse, you must communicate effectively with patients, families, co-workers, and sometimes even doctors. It is the key to success in nursing, knowing you have one of the most prominent roles in medicine.
The good news is that there are many ways for you to improve your communication skills:
- Listening skills: Listen carefully so that you understand what someone says before responding. Acknowledge when someone has said something important and repeat back information if necessary (this will help others clarify their message). If possible, ask questions while talking, so they feel more comfortable sharing their point of view.
- Speaking/Presenting skills: Practice giving speeches or presentations before delivering them in front of others. Be prepared for unexpected situations where public speaking is needed (for example, meeting new clients).
3. Exercise a High Degree of Respect
As a nurse, it is essential to exercise a high degree of respect for humans. You should care for the patient, their family, and the community. A good nurse also respects the patient’s rights, dignity, beliefs, and values, even if there are differences.
Maintaining a high degree of respect entails –
- Treating patients with dignity
- Treating families with kindness and compassion
- Respecting the patient’s right to privacy
Empathy helps nurses understand patients’ emotions, allowing them to connect with others and improving patient care quality.
What does empathy look like? It can be demonstrated through actions such as:
- Listening attentively when someone shares something personal about themselves or their family members
- Practice active listening instead of just hearing what you want them to say (this will help you gain insight into their perspective)
Compassion is sympathy for another person’s situation or condition while being sensitive and understanding toward someone’s needs. It is a skill that can be learned and an essential quality of a nurse.
Nurses need compassion because interacting with sick people day in and out can be frustrating and upsetting. When nurses show compassion by understanding their patient’s needs, patients feel cared for and valued.
Showing compassion entails –
- Sharing experiences (both positive and negative)
- Incorporating empathy while interacting
This creates trust between the two parties, directly leading to better health outcomes for both patient and provider alike!
6. Individualized Patient Care
Individualized patient care is the most effective way of improving patient care quality. Nurses must provide individualized patient care, which can be challenging if there are more patients for a single nurse to handle.
A better way to approach this would be to develop a plan tailored to the patient’s needs, then do everything to ensure patients receive the best care possible. To meet this goal, nurses need access to technology to determine treatment options for each patient based on their conditions and preferences.
7. Sharing Decision-making Responsibility
Sharing decision-making responsibility is vital for improving patient care quality. When nurses collaborate with patients and other healthcare providers, they can help them make better decisions about their healthcare.
For example, patients who want to change their medications or diet may ask their nurse or physician to help evaluate whether the changes are safe and suitable. Nurses can also participate in shared decision-making processes when working with families of patients who need nursing services at home.
8. Offering Advanced Technological Solutions
Advanced technology can improve patient care quality, patient safety, and outcomes. This includes using electronic health records (EHRs), an EKG machine, mobile devices, and wearables.
EHRs help nurses effectively manage their patient’s health information to provide better care. They also help reduce errors and provide a more accurate record of the patient’s progress or complications during treatment or after discharge from hospitalization.
This makes it easier for nurses to manage more patients with minimal time spent on everyone’s file. Similarly, an Electrocardiogram (EKG) monitor can monitor a patient’s heart rate to detect any changes that could indicate an arrhythmia or other problems.
The future of healthcare is bright. As technology advances and we continue to learn more about health, the need for nurses who can provide quality care has grown. It is crucial for healthcare providers to know their job well and communicate effectively with patients.
We hope this article has given you valuable insight into how nurses can improve patient care quality. Use the above strategies to understand and improve patient care quality if managing everyday tasks is challenging.
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