Building rapport with our patients

Last week I attended a conference on leadership in nursing. As a nurse not currently in a leadership position, I felt a little out of place. The early part of the conference focused on things like engagement surveys and other data points that Press Gainey uses to come up with patient and nurse satisfaction, basically, a lot of things that sort of went over my head. I saw lots of the nurse managers nodding and discussing. I’ll pass. I am not really someone that is big into data points and graphs.

One of the speakers from the second half of the conference shared information that really stuck with me. His presentation focused on building rapport with people, especially our patients. He began by talking about active listening and why we suck at it. According to information he presented, the average person speaks 125 words a minute. That blew my mind! 125 words seems like so much! He presented another point: our minds think far faster than that, that is why we suck at active listening. Our brains are moving too fast and we get to a point where we are no longer listening to understand, we are listening to respond. Makes sense, right?

He instead told us to listen for three things from the patient you are speaking to:

  1. Values- what in this conversation is most important to the individual?
  2. Hopes- what does the individual hope to gain from this conversation?
  3. Fears- what, if anything, is the individual afraid of?

Being able to touch on those three things in a convo with a patient can make them feel much more at ease. This shows the patient you were actively listening to what they had to say and that you were actually engaged in the conversation. That is the feeling I strive to give to my patients. I want my patients to feel like I care when we are talking. Sometimes, all a “difficult” patient needs is someone to take the time to listen to their concerns. Whenever I can, I try to be that person.

Advertisements

Nursing convos with non-nursing friends

Guys, I apologize.

I bombard you with all these stories about my hot mess shifts. I rattle off all kinds of medical terminology. I tell you things that probably gross you out because I think it’s cool.

You listen anyway and try to make sense of this shit. You try to keep your questions about the 12 medical abbreviations I just used to a minimum. You participate in the conversation. You are actively listening despite not having a clue what the hell I am talking about.

tenor

I’m sorry.

My life is spent around nurses and doctors. We probably use more medical abbreviations that actual words. I have clearly forgotten how to communicate outside of nursing. I throw terms at you, expecting you to catch them the way my colleagues do. Bless you all, you stick with me for a long as possible.

I am going to try and differentiate between friends and coworkers from now on. I will try to speak in layman’s terms. I am going to work on breaking out of the habit of using medical abbreviations. I am going to continue grossing you out though. I’m a nurse, my entire shift is gross. You’re just going to have to suffer through that part with me.