The relationship between patient and caregiver can be a challenging experience. Stressful settings often make it easy for tempers to flare and patience to wear thin. To provide the best care, you must foster a good relationship with your patient no matter how difficult the circumstances. Here are five simple ways to improve as a caregiver and provide great care for patients.
Patients and their family members want information about their care and condition. It is helpful that you, as a part of the patient care team, are aware and able to provide that information within the context of your role. The timing and method for delivering that information will vary among patients and the situation, with some requiring or preferring one-on-one conversation and others using written materials. As a caregiver, try to keep educational materials around to help your patient better understand medical procedures.
When speaking to patients, try to avoid a tone of voice that conveys anger or sarcasm. Do not assume, for example, that all young adults are immature or that all older adults have trouble hearing. There will be many times when speaking calmly and directly will suffice. Use positive words and pay attention to body language, too. Even if your patient cannot tell you something is wrong, body language can indicate changes in mood and comfort level. Learn proven techniques to de-escalate tense situations.
Patients experience satisfaction when they feel as though someone is listening to them. Displaying empathy and compassion are critical for the success of all caregiving professionals. Simply listening to your patients will make them feel like you are going the extra mile for them, and it is vital that you use proper communication techniques and conflict resolution. Know the person’s problems and challenges for whom you are caring and ask questions and listen to their answers. Once the patient feels supported, your relationship with them will improve.
Patience is the finest quality you can have as a caregiver, and there will be situations that challenge your patience. No matter how bad your day is going, please do not take it out on the patient. If you have to, find someone to take over, remove yourself from the situation, calm down, and then return to care when your better able to interact with patients. When you are aware of your role as a caregiver, patience will come naturally. Remind yourself why you are caring for the person in the first place.
Learn all you can about the person you are caring for and their condition so you can provide the finest possible care for them. Seek information from the other care team members, the physicians, nurses, and other allied health professionals. Knowledge can guide you and instill confidence. The person you care for will be more relaxed knowing that you are competent to decide and/or participate in their care.
You should also seek supplemental training as a part of career growth. The allied health field is constantly changing, revealing new information and requiring new techniques and required skills. Getting supplemental training shows a commitment to the field and to your professional growth as the best caregiver you can be.
Always keep confidentiality in mind, and do not share patient information or personally identifiable information with others outside of the patient’s care team. You will have better outcomes if you can build trust with your patients, their care teams, and yourself. Have faith in your ability as a caregiver. It can be a challenge going into new situations, but you must have confidence in yourself and simply do your best each day. Talk with your supervisor to get a gauge of your performance. Most significantly, seek help whenever you need it.
The outstanding caregivers at Arbor Associates serve clients with compassion while positively impacting the communities they serve. Check out the current opportunities available at Arbor.