Career Nurses: How to Advance Your Healthcare Career

Career Nurses: How to Advance Your Healthcare Career

 

Nursing is a challenging yet rewarding career for thousands of individuals across the country. Many seek to advance their careers to a higher level in healthcare, whether that be in the field of nurse management or elsewhere. If you’re a career-minded nursing professional and seek a higher calling, use the following tips to help you advance your nursing career:

Please review our healthcare certifications for nurses
Please review our healthcare certifications for nurses

Advance your Education

Like any profession, education is often the key to success. For the nursing field, if you started out with an Associate degree, go back to school for your Bachelor’s degree. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, look into getting a health care law degree online. Your current employer might offer tuition incentives for those seeking a higher education.

Once you’ve obtained an advanced degree, you’ll be able to move into a management or administrative level position

Seek Different Certifications

Medical and healthcare employers are always looking for nurses who have obtained various specialized certifications. Some popular certifications include dialysis treatment, MDS (coding and billing), phlebotomy and more. There are over 26 different certifications that are available for nurses who are looking to advance their careers.

Nurses who have recently graduated from school normally choose a specialty and seek an entry level position within a hospital, nursing home or medical clinic.

Look for a Mentor

Mentors can be great for helping aspiring nurses advance their careers. The best mentors will have years of experience as a manager or director, and can meet with you on a regular basis to discuss issues within the workplace and offer hands on training in management areas, if necessary.

Many employers offer mentorship programs that can lead directly to a promotion if the nurse successfully completes the program.

Grow your Network

Like any other career field, nurses must always focus on growing their network of healthcare professionals. Connect with other nurses online, stay in touch with classmates from college, and mingle with people at work. Personal networking can lead to numerous potential opportunities in specialty areas and in management.

The road to becoming a nurse is not an easy one. Those who successfully complete their college education and on-the-job training have a rewarding career to look forward to. Those who put in the extra time and effort into professional development will give themselves the opportunity to enjoy higher salaries and a fruitful career in nursing or healthcare management.

 

About the Author

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.

 

 

You can also diversify your nursing career with a variety of healthcare certifications for nurses.

Please review the programs at AIHCP

Online Counseling Training: Life Changes

Navigating Through Life Changes

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.     Jim Rohn

 Online counseling training is an excellent way to learn how to aid those in need or simply sharpen your counseling skills. Online courses can further help by giving you an opportunity to work an education around your schedule. With a virtual classroom, you can take it with you wherever you go! Below is an excellent article by an instructor on Navigating Through Life Changes.

Life changes and we change along with it.  If you are like me, you may be experiencing changes in life patterns, in life expectations and outcomes.  What you envisioned your life to be may not be your reality anymore. What was “known” to you changes, and you may feel baffled, without energy, and hopeless.  Are you feeling that way?  I understand you;  to feel sad and challenged is just human. However….it’s up to you how you continue feeling.

I want to use the analogy of life and the seasons.  Many people have written about this analogy, being Jim Rohn one of my favorites. Jim said we all go through Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  It is not a surprise!  Spring is a time of renewal, new beginnings, new opportunities! We may not even take a pause to think!  We enjoy this time in our lives, expecting to last forever. We are hopeful, motivated, and filled with joy!

Then, we reap in  Summer what we have sown in Spring.  Although, I know that at times what we reap is not a reflection of what we sowed, because there are other variables we may not have taken into account or were out of our control. However, we can still learn from this, change our strategy, and continue renewed with expectations.  We still have hope and strength. When Fall comes, is a time to cherish the good times in our lives and prepare ourselves for those times when we will experience the extreme cold of Winter.

Because… it will come, even if we do not want it.

Are you facing a Winter now? What kind of Winter is it?  What are you doing about it?  Are you complaining about how cold it is?  Or are you lighting a fire to keep you warm?  If you are experiencing an extreme cold Winter, I understand you.  Recently, I have experienced a couple of Winters. However…it is up to us, if we freeze to death, or if we choose to wear a warm coat, get close to the bonfire,  and know that Spring is about to arrive.

Remember…Your Life has Meaning!

Ligia M. Houben, MA, FT, CGC, CPC

www.ligiahouben.com

 

Nursing Patient Education News – Tracking Medical Records

Delicate Info: How Can Patients Track Their Medical Records for Better Health?

By – Rachelle Wilber 

Topic – Nursing Patient Education

Doctors usually have too many patients to keep a close eye on any individual’s medical records over time. Rather than relying on your doctor to track your records for better health, you can do it yourself. These four options provide you with different solutions to tracking your medical records and improving your overall health.

Personal Health Binders

Setting up your own personal health binder is a simple process and does not require the use of any technology. Choose a sturdy, three-ringed binder and label it with a title such as “health records.” You can use dividers to separate the binder’s contents into sections, such as procedures, tests and general checkups. When you visit the doctor, ask the office staff to print out your visit summaries and lab test results. Use a three-hole puncher to make holes into the left side of the printouts. Insert your printouts into the binder as desired. When you want to track your medical records, just refer to your binder. This is a helpful solution if you have different doctors that are not connected to each other through an electronic network or if you prefer to bring your medical history with you to your medical exams.

Patient Access Portals

Many medical provider networks offer electronic patient access portals. With portal access, you can log into your account and track each visit’s procedures and diagnoses. These portals also feature sections for your laboratory test results and your active prescriptions. This allows you to track you results over time and get a picture of your overall health. The portal access is encrypted to protect your confidential information. Many electronic portal services allow you to check on the date of your next appointment, send your doctor a message or request a prescription refill.

Using Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet program that can be used on your home computer to track your medical records. You can use Excel to sort rows and columns, create charts and develop graphs to monitor your health situation. For example, if you are diabetic and check your A1C and daily blood sugar level results, you can monitor your test results over time. Microsoft Excel reporting tools can also be used for health record reporting. Physicians and office staff may use Excel to monitor symptoms and implement a watchful waiting or treatment program for you. Excel is also used in infectious disease reporting, such as if a patient develops a case of whooping cough, which is reportable to most local and state health departments. If you are skilled in data analysis, you can export Microsoft Excel spreadsheets in a .CSV format or a comma delimited format for in-depth analysis of your health.

Google Drive

Google Drive is free software that is accessible through the cloud. You can access it at any time by setting up your own Google account. It connects your email, a calendar, spreadsheets, word processing and other programs. With Google Drive, you can track your medical records by implementing your own spreadsheet. It allows you to perform basic calculations and sort by rows or columns in order to track your test results and visits. You can link the different parts of Google Drive together, such as updating your calendar with the next appointment and having it email you a reminder. There are storage limitations to Google Drive and its spreadsheet system is not as powerful as Microsoft Excel.

These four health-tracking solutions allow you to look in-depth at your health and take action for improvements. You can also use them to get an overview of your medical care. Consider using these systems to track the health of each person in your household.

 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700

How to Make Sure You’re in Good Hands Before Going Into Surgery

Even with some amazing breakthroughs in the healthcare industry, going into surgery can be quite stressful for patients. Many are unsure of what they can do to find the best surgical team or prepare themselves for the physical stress of a medical procedure. Whether you are getting ready for a life-altering operation or recently decided to take a look at your options for plastic surgery, here are a few tips that you can use to make sure you are in good hands.

Start with Referrals and Reviews

Choosing the right healthcare professional is important.  Please also review our healthcare certifications
Choosing the right healthcare professional is important. Please also review our healthcare certifications

The easiest way to begin this process is to start asking for referrals and taking a look at online reviews. While you don’t want to choose a surgeon based entirely on reviews and referrals, they should help you narrow your options down. One of the best people to ask about medical specialists is your primary doctor. These individuals know the most about your general health, and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Take a Look at Their History

After you have narrowed your choices to a few surgeons or medical centers, you can then begin researching them individually. The most important information you are looking for is how often they have carried out your particular surgery. You want to have a surgical team that is extremely familiar with your operation. They don’t need to focus on your type of procedure exclusively, but they should be carrying it out at least a few times every year.

Interviewing the Surgeon

Before having any procedure carried out, patients have the right to speak with the surgeon and other members of the surgical team. In addition to asking them about their experience, you should also inquire about the state of their facility. Their medical center should have cutting-edge safety features, such as smoke evacuation machines and an on-site emergency support space (ESS). Depending on your insurance and what type of procedure is being carried out, these initial consultation might be covered by your policy. Patients who would like to make these consultations easier can write down their questions beforehand. With the questions written down, you can be sure that you do not miss any key points.

Pre-Op Instructions

Your surgical team should supply you with a full set of instructions for before and after your procedure. These instructions often include basic information such as what to wear and when you need to stop eating. There should also be suggestions on how you can prepare your home so that you remain as comfortable as possible during your recovery. If the instructions are unclear, then you should schedule another consultation with the surgeon to clarify the information. Even though every procedure is slightly different, you will also be given a basic timeline to follow during your recovery. That includes when you can begin bathing, exercising, and working.

A Second Opinion

Patients have the option to get a second opinion before any procedure is carried out. No matter how experienced your surgeon might be, it doesn’t take much for them to overlook small details regarding your medical history or overall health. As a general rule, patients should always seek out a second opinion if they have been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. You might also want to consider seeing another doctor if your original surgeon has suggested a major procedure for a medical issue that is not an emergency.

When it comes to invasive medical procedures, it is always better to err on the side of caution. All patients should feel completely confident that they are in good hands before, during, and after their operations.

 

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

 

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Restless Nights: How Your Sleep Apnea Affects Your Overall Health

Sleep Apnea can be a serious issue. Please also review our certifications for healthcare professionals
Sleep Apnea can be a serious issue. Please also review our certifications for healthcare professionals

There are many things that can impact your sleep from your position throughout the night to whether you sleep a full 8 hours. Sleep apnea has an impact on more than sleep patterns, though. It actually can have a very negative affect on your health. The following ways are just a few examples of that.

High Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea causes a person to wake continuously throughout the night, which results in less restorative sleep. Due to this, the body can become stressed and that causes blood pressure levels to become elevated. When you can’t breathe, the level of oxygen in the blood can drop, which is also a serious problem that impacts blood pressure.

Depression

Lack of sleep can create irritability, frustration and crankiness that can turn into depression in the long term. When a person never gets a good night’s sleep, it takes a toll on their mental health. They’re always fatigued and sleepy. This leads to a sense of unhappiness and an impact on their sense of well-being.

Heart Disease

The stress of not getting a full night’s sleep combined with low oxygen levels throughout the night can make it hard for the heart to work properly. It impacts how the blood flows through the arteries as well as the brain and heart. This sleeping disorder can put undue pressure on the circulatory system of the body as well as other problems with the heart and brain.

Dental Health

Part of sleep apnea can involve teeth grinding throughout the night. This can have a serious impact on a person’s dental health. It can lead to broken teeth, clenched jaw pain and pain when chewing. Mitcham Dental Clinic and other dentistry services can treat the results of sleep apnea as it impacts your dental health. You might even be able to get a night guard to help decrease the impact of grinding on your teeth.

Greater Risk of Sickness

A person with sleep apnea has a greater risk of becoming sick. This is because they’re not getting enough sleep, which causes the body to become tired and unable to effectively fight off germs. This leads to many colds as well as an overall sense of fatigue. Sleep is a restorative process, but when it’s not complete, it can lead to greater problems.

Sleep apnea may be a sleeping disorder, but it has a profound impact on every aspect of a person’s life as well as their overall health. People with sleep apnea are prone to more colds, circulatory issues, high blood pressure, diabetes and weight issues. It can have a serious impact on their dental health as well, which can often be surprising to sleep apnea sufferers. Seeing a doctor as well as a dentist is recommended.

 

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.

 

 

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What’s the Latest in Molecular Technology and Health Today?

Molecular scientists are making great strides in the medical industry. Just within the 20th century, researchers made several medical breakthroughs. We are still in the early years of the 21st century, but scientists have already made several important discoveries in molecular science here as well. Scientists are building applications that can detect chronic medical conditions, and their work has led to many new innovations in the health care industry. The improvements in pharmaceutical technology are benefiting millions of people already.

New ways of healing. Please also review our healthcare certifications for nurses
New ways of healing. Please also review our healthcare certifications for nurses

Molecular Tags and MRI Signals
A new class of molecular tags has recently been discovered. The tags can enhance MRI signals, and can create a detectable signal that lasts longer than an hour. Scientists hyperpolarized important molecules which then appeared brighter and had a stronger signal. This technology can be used on small molecules and amino acids. Researchers are still perfecting the technology and are planning to use the new concept as a general imaging tag.

Computer Models and Human Lung Tissue
Researchers are developing computer models that can observe human lung tissue and are trying to develop a drug that can fight tuberculosis. The computer models will be able to show researchers how a medication can move to the infection site. The new technology will also show scientists how drugs interact with different types of harmful pathogens. When the computer models are fully operational, scientists will have a better understanding of tuberculosis drug therapies.

Quantum Engineering and Teleportation Technology
Quantum engineering is being used in molecular science and scientists are improving the futuristic ideas of teleportation technology. Currently, researchers are working on quantum simulators and are aiming to make highly sensitive sensors. This way they can build a framework that can design and test quantum simulators. The technology will improve medical imaging at the cellular level.

Creating Nanoparticles and Improving Vaccines
For nearly a century, vaccines have curbed many serious illnesses. Scientists are always improving vaccines and a team of medical researchers are developing nanoparticle vaccines. The vaccines have surface molecules and can influence the immune system’s response to tumors. In the future, vaccines may be able to kill tumors with T-cells. When nanotechnology and molecular engineering are combined, the information can give scientists a better understanding of the lymphatic system. The new information will help scientists treat chronic medical conditions.

Bioanalytics and Living Cells
Currently, bioanalytic researchers are working on identifying the molecules that are present in all living cells. They are striving to break down the lipids, proteins, and the metabolites that regulate all bodily functions. The new information has already played an important role in ASEA supplements. The new technology characterizes and quantifies important molecules. What is ASEA? Products like these work with the body on a molecular level to improve cell production throughout all systems.

Foodborne Illnesses and Medical Technology
Foodborne illnesses are a serious concern and a widespread illness like these can devastate a population. Scientists have developed technology that can detect E. coli strains. The technology is less expensive than the current testing methods. A portion of meat is placed in a small box and the device makes several copies of the genes in the meat. When the researchers press a button, the results are available within one hour.

In the last few years, molecular science has paved the way for several new medical technologies. Molecular science will continue to be an important part of the healthcare and technology industries. New technologies will benefit people everywhere. The new pharmaceutical technologies will make medications more affordable and the technology will increase the shelf-life of drugs. Targeted drug therapy will deliver the medication to its destination with minimal adverse side effects. These are just a few examples of how molecular science is adapting and changing our lives for the better.

Please also review our healthcare certifications for nurses and other healthcare professionals.

 

Worldwide Office: Best Volunteer Avenues for Nurses Who Want to Travel

Worldwide Office: Best Volunteer Avenues for Nurses Who Want to Travel

 

Volunteering is a rewarding experience for nurses.  Please also review our healthcare certifications for nurses
Volunteering is a rewarding experience for nurses. Please also review our healthcare certifications for nurses

Becoming a volunteer is one of the best ways for nurses to travel the world and use their medical skills where they are most needed. They get the chance to learn more about new countries and cultures at the same time they help to make the world a better place. There are loads of different volunteer opportunities out there for those interested in traveling to foreign lands, but not all of them are worth your time. Here is a look at some of the best volunteer avenues available for nurses who want to travel.

Nepal Medical Elective
For any nurse who wants to see the majesty of the Himalayas, the Nepal Medical Elective is a fantastic opportunity. Nurses are placed at either a hospital in Kathmandu, a hospital in Chitwan, or a medical school in Bhaktapur. They will get the chance to volunteer in many different areas, including oncology, radiology, burn unit, emergency, pediatrics, geriatrics and the ICU.

Global Vision International (GVI)
This program has projects in Thailand, South Africa, Nepal, Mexico, India, and Fiji. Volunteers of all backgrounds are accepted for this program, but anyone who has medical skills is particularly prized. Anyone getting a nursing degree would be very welcome and if you are getting an RN to BSN online in Florida or from another program, you can use your experience to help boost your resume as well. GVI’s programs are wide-ranging, but they always target low-income patients. The volunteers are able to customize their volunteer experiences of between two to 12 weeks.

African Impact
As most of us are aware, the healthcare systems in parts of Africa can be very poor. It is particularly poor or even non-existent in most rural areas. African Impact will allow nurses to practice their skills in beautiful, rural areas of Africa. This is a volunteer program that gives nurses a chance to provide medical care for people who need it the most.

Agape Volunteers
This is another volunteer opportunity for nurses who would like to make a difference in Africa. Nurses who go through Agape Volunteers will have the chance to go to Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, and Maasai-land. This program has lots of extracurricular activities that will take volunteers out to explore some of the outdoor opportunities available like hiking, rafting, and even wildlife viewing.

These are just four amazing programs that nurses can use to travel to exotic lands and help the needy. There are many other opportunities available for nurses, and the times are flexible to accommodate their schedules. Don’t just jump at the first program you look at. Do some research and ask the program representatives questions. The key is to find a volunteer experience that has the best combinations of features to make it a memorable one.

 

Please also review our healthcare certifications for nurses.

 

Healthcare Certification Education: Get the Most out of Your Healthcare with These 5 Tips

Get the Most out of Your Healthcare with These 5 Tips

Volunteering can be a rewarding experience for a nurse. Please also review our healthcare certification education
Please also review our healthcare certification education

Health insurance is expensive and many people do not take full advantage of everything their health insurance offers. There are times when health insurance can actually save you money and keep you healthy. Here are five life hacks to help you get the most bang out of your healthcare bucks.

Make Sure Your Insurance Is Right For You
Research your healthcare insurance options thoroughly before you make a final decision. Take inventory of the healthcare needs for you as well as your family and pick a plan that best covers the things you most need from your insurance, such as lower deductibles and lower copays.

Take Full Advantage Of Health Insurance Open Enrollment Periods
If you have already picked a healthcare plan and you don’t think it is right for you, open enrollment is a way to address inadequacies in insurance coverage. During open enrollment, think about your life changes over the last year and also think about the life changes you are able to anticipate for the upcoming year, if possible. If you are planning for an upcoming major life change such as having a baby or major surgery, use the open enrollment period to pick an insurance policy that will best cover you and your family through these life events.

Pick Your Primary Care Physician
Find a primary care physician with a background in health information management programs you are comfortable with. Work to cultivate a strong, positive relationship with your doctor and his nurses. Pick a physician that you trust, respect and feel comfortable being honest with about your health. Your primary care doctor should be invested in your well-being and proactive about getting you to come in for preventative exams.

Always Take Advantage Of The Free Stuff
Everyone loves freebies. Many insurance plans offer stuff for free and many people do not take advantage of these opportunities. For example, an insurance plan may offer a free flu shot, a free Well Woman exam, free birth control and free antibiotics. Many vision plans actually offer one free pair of glasses or a free annual eye exam for all covered individuals.

Utilize Health Programs, Assessments, And Coaches
A lot of insurance companies offer free or low-cost health programs and health assessments. Always check to see if your insurance company offers for programs that are dedicated to blood pressure, cholesterol, rehabilitation, and weight management. Many health insurance programs actually reward individuals for doing their part to live a healthful, active life of wellness. These health opportunities through insurance programs pay people for exercising, being fit, eating right, meeting goals, and picking nutritious foods.

For some families, healthcare is the primary expense that eats up the budget. It pays (literally) to be more involved in you healthcare so you don’t have to compromise your well-being in the long run. Preparation is key. You will get better quality care and improved health if you take a proactive role in your own health. You deserve it. Being proactive about your health by utilizing all benefits of your healthcare plan is just as important as nutrition and exercise. Your health means everything.

If you would also like to learn more about Healthcare Certification Education options from AIHCP, then please review.

What Over-the-Counter Painkillers are Most Effective?

Living with pain can be a frustrating ordeal. Luckily, there are plenty of choices when it comes to over-the-counter painkillers that can help in most situations. Certain types of pain relievers are more effective for different types of ailments. Headaches, muscle pain, fever, and inflammation are all issues that can be addressed with over-the-counter solutions, but each pain reliever has their own benefits and downsides. It is always a good idea to check with a doctor before taking any new medication, but here are a few guides to what each kind of painkiller is most effective and for what ailments.

What pain killer is best for you? Please also review our certifications for healthcare professionals
What pain killer is best for you? Please also review our certifications for healthcare professionals

Aspirin
If you are experiencing minor aches and pains, specifically headaches, aspirin may be a good choice. Its major benefit is the ability to treat and prevent heart disease. Aspirin has become an over-the-counter drug to keep on hand due to the claims that if it is taken during a heart attack, it may save your life. If you are at risk, this can be an easy way to protect yourself. If you are a migraine sufferer, aspirin may not be the best choice though. It has not proven to be as effective as other choices for migraine pain, and the same goes for menstrual cramps. Children should not take aspirin as it has been linked to Reyes disease in young people.

Ibuprofen
Pain experienced during a migraine or other type of headache will likely be relieved using ibuprofen. It is effective for fever and inflammation reduction, and even relieves menstrual cramps fairly well. Its effectiveness is made even better because it rarely has any ill effects if taken as directed. It is a mild pain reliever and is most helpful for pain caused by inflammation. According to a DWI lawyer this may come in handy if you experience pain after a traumatic event like a car accident, though you should always check with a doctor first. If you have heart issues, this may not be the best option, as there are concerns about its relation to heart health. But if you have ulcers or stomach issues, then it is considered a good choice as it is gentle on the stomach.

Naproxen
If long lasting pain relief is what you are looking for, naproxen will most likely be your best bet. It is effective for all types of headaches and is considered one of the best treatments for menstrual cramp pain. The relief offered by naproxen outlasts most other types of pain relievers. It does take its toll on your stomach in some cases, but if you have no stomach concerns, the ability of naproxen to last twice as long as anything else may make it a winner in your book.

Acetaminophen
This treatment for minor aches and pains associated with cold and flus is often used to reduce fevers and for minor headaches. Migraine sufferers may not get the relief they are looking for with this drug though. Acetaminophen is very mild on the stomach though it is important to keep careful track of how much is taken because this drug is filtered through the liver and can cause liver damage if not taken as directed. It is considered a safe choice for hemophiliacs and those with aspirin allergies and acetaminophen is also safe to take in combination with other pain relievers.

Choosing an effective over-the-counter pain reliever can be confusing with all the choices and brands on the market. It is helpful to focus on what is causing your pain and research which type is going to do the best job making you feel better, while avoiding side effects that could lead to bigger problems. It is also important to follow your doctor’s advice and always take medication as directed.

If you also would like to learn more about AIHCP and its many certifications for healthcare professionals then please review our programs and see if they match your academic or professional needs.

 

 

Bedside Nursing

Better Bedside: How Nurses Can Improve Their Patient Engagement Skills

Bedside care is critical to nursing.  Also please review our healthcare certifications for nurses
Bedside care is critical to nursing. Also please review our healthcare certifications for nurses

A good bedside manner, the way in which a healthcare professional interacts with their patients, can aid in diagnosis, helps with treatment, and encourages the patient to feel like a person instead of a case. The most important factor in developing a good bedside manner is establishing a rapport. Rapport helps to break out of the nurse/patient relationship and encourages a casual environment more reminiscent of one person chatting with another person. A degree in healthcare or health law is a way to learn and improve patient engagement skills.

Listen to the Patient

Everyone wants to be understood. Nurses need to give patients their undivided attention when they are talking with them. Encourage the patient to talk about the presenting problem and its history. When the patient has described their symptoms and history, nurses can then begin to evaluate the information the patient has provided, and to ask questions. This is especially important in differential diagnoses of conditions that have similar signs and symptoms.

Have Empathy, Not Just Sympathy

Sympathy is saying, “I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.” Empathy is understanding what it’s like to walk in their shoes. Nurses should provide the level of service that they would expect, were their role and the patient’s role reversed.

Genuinely Care About the Patient

Healthcare is a profession of sharing in the responsibility of the well-being of patients. Give the best treatment possible to the person who is present right now. Patients are more likely to follow the directions of nurses who really care about their health, rather than nurses they feel don’t really understand or care about them.

Be Tactfully Honest

Patients can become negative and discouraged when problems with their health cause them to seek medical care. Nurses should consider the emotional impact a prognosis will have on the patient, and use the rapport they have established to deliver the news.

Nurses with good patient engagement skills take the time to listen and to understand their patients. They show genuine care and empathy towards patients. They are aware of the emotional impact that their behavior can have on those patients and understand the legal and practical consequences of improper practitioner-patient interaction. Having healthcare master’s degrees can be invaluable in learning these skills. These are all important factors in establishing a good rapport.

Conclusion

The patient engagement skills listed above are not just good for nurses—they will benefit healthcare professionals in whatever capacity they serve. Healthcare providers need to learn and cultivate sound patient engagement skills to develop a good bedside manner. Doing so will provide a better experience for both the patient and the provider.

About the Author: Marlena Stoddard is a freelance writer who received her BA from University of Georgia.

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