The medical industry has moved on from the old constructs of patient care. An increase in digitalization has shifted focus from the healthcare institution to patient welfare. Nowadays, the sufferer is more of a consumer than a patient. Therefore, his needs and satisfaction are second to none. So, improved patient satisfaction and engagement are vital to impact patient safety.
According to research, the conduct and behavior of medical professionals significantly impact patient wellbeing. Since nurses spend the most time with patients, their behavior and comfort influence the patient’s experience. Furthermore, patient safety also depends on the skills of the nursing staff.
However, various factors affect nurse satisfaction. Job stress and burnout are some of the most common complaints in nursing. Lack of resources and demanding working hours only exacerbate the problem. The average nurse also witnesses intense situations that burden them with fatigue. These experiences can have determinant effects on the skills of the nursing staff. And so begins a vicious cycle. As the nursing work environment becomes worse, so does patient experience. And as more patients remain unsatisfied with their treatment, the stress on the nurses increases. But there are some issues the nursing sector is struggling with.
As any nurse will tell you, the nursing workforce is severely understaffed. Therefore proper nurse staffing is vital to strengthen the healthcare system. A landmark report of the Institute of Medicine found that nurse staffing is a critical factor in the quality of care. However, an increase in nurse hiring is not the answer. The nursing sector needs competent nurses who can drive change. Highly educated nurses, such as those graduating from online DNP programs, can improve patient safety. They can aid RNs in effectively using resources and prevent adverse effects. Therefore, both the quality and quality of nursing can improve patient happiness. However, many factors hinder the staffing of nurses. Administrative policies such as budgets affect staffing levels. An aging workforce and increasingly complex patient profiles make staffing even more demanding. The ANA is trying to address the challenge by improving working conditions. But, they have had limited success so far.
Nurses are the mouthpieces of the patients. They are their advocates and the first point of contact with the healthcare sector. Therefore nurses must build a rapport with their patients to improve patient satisfaction. Most nurses are engaged in patient education, which depends entirely on excellent communication skills. Better communication can reduce errors by improving intervention techniques. According to experts, medical errors are the top 10 causes of death. However, nurses have limited time with each patient making meaningful communication almost impossible. Fortunately, with the right skills, they can make each patient encounter valuable.
Healthcare professionals must work as a team to improve diagnosis, patient treatment, and patient safety. The first step in improving team collaboration and communication is by showing a willingness to overcome the issue. Next, nurse leaders must implement a set of behavior policies and procedures to follow. We must consider how nurses affect patient outcomes.
They play a vital role in patient safety
Nurses protect patients from injuries which is an essential component of patient satisfaction. Nurses monitor patients for any medical errors and signs of deterioration. Nurse rounds are vital in reducing patient falls and improving pain management. Rounding is necessary as it allows patients to ask for help and build a connection with the nurse. Patients are often unwilling to bother nurses with issues because they are intimidated by them. Often these problems are easily preventable.
Patient empowerment is vital to improve patient health. Healthcare systems and procedures can make individuals feel powerless and helpless. But, health providers can help patients avoid this. By increasing patient involvement, nurses can improve patient satisfaction and improve the quality of care. The only way to do so is by making every patient contact count. Nurses must educate and inform patients about their treatment and encourage them to play an active role in their care plan.
Evidence suggests that individualized care is effective in improving patient outcomes. Individualized care is when medical professionals make patient-centered decisions based on the life circumstances of each patient. Nurses can help patients determining their priorities and customizing their treatment accordingly. Some patients are anxious about medical intervention due to past experiences. It can make it difficult for them to stick to the care plan. Therefore through individualized patient care, nurses can improve communication and patient outcomes.
Provide cost-conscious care
The health care system is notoriously expensive. A single trip to the hospital can cost thousands of dollars. The cost of treatment is the single most important reason why most patients put off going to the doctor. It can negatively affect patient outcomes. Nurses can help by providing cost-saving care without sacrificing patient care. They can identify the needs and wants of the patient and advocate against unnecessary treatments.
The importance of nurse well-being
The mental health of the nurses and medical providers can indirectly affect patients. Burnout and staff dissatisfaction can make it difficult for nurses to serve patients. So, both the work and life of healthcare professionals have to change. Health institutions can offer mindfulness training to improve mind-body skills. They can also put forth coping strategies for healthcare workers to cope with the toxic culture at their workplace. Furthermore, an organizational culture of collaboration can improve workplace satisfaction.
Nurses are no longer merely the sidekicks of doctors. In a modern healthcare system, nurses play a central role. Often nurses have to step in for physicians and doctors because of staffing shortages. However, the demanding nature of their job can often make it challenging to provide quality care. Both the administration of health institutions and healthcare leaders can play a positive role in addressing these hurdles. Collaborative treatment procedures and improved staffing can transform the healthcare sector into a more efficient version of itself.