Learning to master your caregiving skills as a nurse can help enhance your practice. Caregiving for the elderly can be a unique experience, as you probably have to take care of everything they cannot do themselves.
Improving your elderly care skills means expanding your skill set and gain experience in providing top-quality to your patients.
As a nurse, you must prepare to deal with every patient in various circumstances. You might be taking care of an elderly with no family member or relative to care for. In such a case, your responsibilities may increase.
It will require you to have technical skills, be flexible, monitor health conditions, and administer treatments with medicines. You must also be compassionate, patient, and attentive to details to help improve their quality of life.
Unlike doctors, nurses’ close contact with patients positions them to advocate for the elderly. Full-time care means they spend much time together and know the patient and their medical history. It allows nurses to identify any other health concerns that may have gone undiagnosed.
With that said, let’s look into other ways of effective caregiving to the elderly.
Be prepared to offer Various Specialized Services
The Elderly and the vulnerable, unlike the young, may require more specialized and varied care services.
If you’re interested in gerontology as means of enhancing nursing skills and moving up the career ladder, consider registering for the best adult gerontology nurse practitioner programs online.
A practitioner program will equip you with the relevant and specialized skills needed to care for the elderly professionally.
As an advanced nurse practitioner, you can work with the elderly in outpatient and in-patient health care, private and public clinics, and committed patients.
Your caregiving services may include diagnosis, after-care services, culturally competent care, etc.
Reduce Bureaucracy Level
Top-quality caregiving means making the process as seamless as possible for the patients. It may be hard for the elderly to go online, fill out forms, then visit the clinic to fill out more forms of insurance policies and medical records, etc.
Verify it in the system to access the patient records. Make the process easier by asking for only relevant information that is easier for them to provide. Alternatively, you can help fill out their forms and complete the required paperwork.
Then, ask if they have any questions and help them proceed to the next step.
Make sure to fulfill all Patient Expectations
Meeting patients’ expectations means providing them with all the required resources and quality healthcare. It can include patient funding, easy access to health insurance, minimum wait times, quick service, etc.
On the other hand, meeting expectations for at-home care involves being more than responsible for the patient’s needs, communicating with family members where required, and remaining active and on-call whenever the patient needs them.
It is crucial for emergencies, where you may need to shift the patient to a hospital. The transition must be as smooth as possible.
If the patients receive good service, they will likely return to you more often. Patients often ask for a specific nurse because that nurse could fulfill all the expectations without hassle.
Pay Special Attention to Safety Procedures
Before administering any treatment, it is essential to let the patient know the procedures. Please do not assume they know about a specified treatment’s implications. Talk to the patient and their family regarding the treatment plan and the safety procedures.
Your communication skills come into play here. Use simple terms to explain their condition and your interpersonal skills to see how to communicate effectively.
Safety standards include wearing protective equipment like masks and gloves before dealing with a patient. In addition, always use brand new or sterilized equipment on the patient.
The ideal way is to open a new tool from its packing in front of the patient so that they know that you take special care of safety and cleanliness.
Practice Patient Empathy
It is an essential component of a skilled nurse. Understanding your patient’s feelings can help you empathize and provide quality care.
Nurses exercise three kinds of empathies:
- Affective empathy: means that the nurse sees the patient as an individual rather than just a patient or a customer.
- Cognitive empathy: refers to a nurse trying to get to know the patient on a deeper level. It involves verbal and nonverbal communication to encompass interpersonal sensitivity to provide comfort.
- Behavioral empathy: means showing kindness and respect to the person and having a deeper sense of sensitivity to advocate for them and help relieve pain.
Make the Patient Comfortable
It is imperative to make the sick elderly feel comfortable as soon as they enter the facility. Please arrange for the front desk to get up and greet them with a warm welcome.
Guide them where to hang their coats, and lead them to comfortable seating. Ask them how they are feeling before beginning the paperwork.
Ensure that the waiting room is comfortable enough, or there is a separate section for the elderly. Make sure there are no loud noises, music, or television in the area.
It might take some elderly time to settle down before they can discuss anything. Therefore, be mindful of that and let the patient take their time. Patiently explain everything to them in a way that they can easily understand.
Enhancing the elderly’s care experience does not just involve providing healthcare. It also includes effective communication and interpersonal skills, empathy, adhering to safety procedures, taking care of their comfort level, and fully understanding their needs.
You would also have to deal with different kinds of patients, which requires effective communication and patience.
Being the sole care provider of an elderly comes with added responsibilities, where you would have to be able to advocate for them.