Being hospitalised can be dreadful for many; patients need to endure the pain and discomfort from their illness and be away from the comfort of their homes. It is up to healthcare providers to not only care for their patients, but to also try their best to make sure that they have a good experience at the hospital.

Here are a few ways in which healthcare providers may be unintentionally making their patients’ experience a bad one.

1. Limiting interaction to official duties

Healthcare professionals are known to be busy and have little time to spare. Due to this, they may talk to their patients only when necessary. However, patients may feel lonely or want to talk to someone. This is especially so if they seldom have visitors who come to see them at hospital. In addition, it is beneficial for the patient if a healthcare provider spends time to understand how they are feeling and also comforts them regarding their situation. At the same time, when trust is built between patients and their nurses or doctors, they will open up and give more details about their illness, allowing the relevant healthcare providers to better meet their medical needs. Furthermore, talking to patients often may help them to be relieved of stress, which has been proven to help them to get well faster.

2. Being cold and unfriendly when talking to patients

Healthcare providers need to be aware of their tone and body language when talking to their patients. They should frequently put on a smile and make eye contact so that patients are aware that they are listening intently. Furthermore, it is good to note that the gestures that healthcare providers use together with how they address patients signal to them how much they are being respected. For this reason, they should always ask their patients how they wish to be addressed. Many patients, especially those of the younger generation, feel more comfortable being called by their first name.

3. Excluding patients when talking about their illness with them around

Sometimes, healthcare providers discuss about their patients’ illnesses in their presence. This is not wrong, however, they should refrain from doing this excessively – This tends to make patients feel excluded and as though they are not part of their treatment. Healthcare providers can try talking to patients about their condition where possible and explain how their medications will help them to recover.

4. Being hasty when treating patients

Healthcare providers are often made to work in a demanding and fast-paced environment. If they are not careful, they may end up compromising on patient care. Small but vital signs may be missed, causing patients to be given the wrong method of treatment. In addition, it is important that healthcare professionals do not become indifferent to the discomfort and pain that their patients experience. While efficiency is useful and needed in healthcare, patients must also be treated holistically and emphatically.

Apart from providing basic medical care to patients, healthcare professionals should see to it that their patients are enjoying their stay at the hospital. By making improvements in the way they care for patients, they will have a more pleasant time, which may even help them to recover faster. MIMS

Read more:
6 signs a healthcare career is for you
5 ways to maximise patient engagement
Healthcare professionals: 4 non-verbal ways of communication that you should be using with your patients

Sources:
http://www.jabfm.org/content/5/5/517.full.pdf
https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/a_patient_not_a_person
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/doctors-and-dehumanization-effect/