5 Ways Nurses Can Build Genuine Connections With Their Patients

East Ohio College nursing student making connection with young patient.

Updated content on 12/9/2022

Anyone who has spent time in a hospital or medical facility knows someone who has heard stories about the amazing nurses on staff. But unfortunately, there are also stories about nurses who didn’t take the time to connect with their patients that were solely focused on clocking in and out.

As a nurse, you are often in a position to make the most impact on the patient experience at a hospital or medical facility, whether they are receiving ongoing care or visiting for the first time. By forming genuine connections with your patients, you can help them feel at ease and confident that they are receiving quality medical care. Continue reading to learn some of East Ohio College’s favorite tips for nurses to help build connections with patients. Making these connections will help patients have a positive experience during their stay! 

1. Stay Focused on Them

As a nurse, you have many responsibilities and a large workload at any given time. This can make it easy to become distracted when interacting with patients. Still, it is important to take a moment to clear your mind before entering a patient’s room. 

By giving all of your attention to your current patient and their needs, you show them that you are dedicated to helping them heal and providing them with a positive experience at your facility.

2. Utilize Body Language

Body language is often the first thing a person notices about you, and this is no different for patients. A comforting smile can go a long way to make your patient feel at ease. Maintaining eye contact while your patient is speaking or explaining medical procedures is also important to make them feel comfortable. 

Some patients can feel intimidated and confused while staying in a medical facility. Still, you can show compassion, commitment, and empathy by utilizing positive body language.

3. Be Empathetic

Being in a hospital or medical facility can be scary and lonely for many patients, and they can feel disconnected from the outside world. By being empathetic and asking your patients about themselves, their family, and their lives, you can make them feel heard and build a connection with them. Be sure to allow yourself time to complete your tasks, but also listening to your patient’s stories can help them feel less alone during their stay. 

4. Share Stories

If your patient has been at your hospital for a while or is expected to have an extended stay, you can make them feel more at home by updating them on local news or personal stories. Learning about them can also help you know what can help to cheer them up in times of need, whether it be a funny story about your pet or a new business opening soon. These small connections can pay off when building a relationship with your patient.

5. Advocate For Them

By building a connection with patients, nurses see their patients as people rather than as medical cases. This allows nurses to better advocate for their patients, by suggesting care plans and educating them when necessary. The nurse’s role in patient advocacy can also include protecting a patient’s autonomy and safety when making medical decisions.

Can You See Yourself As A Nurse?

Nurses have a great deal of responsibilities, and building strong connections with their patients is one of them. If you can see yourself working in nursing, building relationships, and providing care for your patients, then enrolling in East Ohio College’s Nursing program could be a great fit! Our program teaches future nurses essential nursing skills in hands-on experiences while preparing them to sit for the NCLEX-RN* licensing exam

If you are ready to start working toward a rewarding career as a nurse, contact our admissions team by calling 330-385-1070 or Requesting Information!

*Passing the NCLEX-RN exam is required to become a Registered Nurse.