The practice of nursing is about much more than just identifying a health problem and suggesting a potential solution. At its core, nursing is about working collaboratively with patients, families, and others to achieve patient-centric goals. This is a feat that requires one thing in particular that can be hard to come by in the healthcare industry– time. Building a provider/patient relationship takes time and effort, but it is a paramount step in providing exceptional patient care, and ultimately achieving patient satisfaction.

Investing in the Patient Experience

Research shows that when providers spend more time with their patients, patient satisfaction increases. The amount of time spent with patients may affect the quality of care provided, particularly when it comes to preventative care and education. It’s important to hear them out, answer their questions thoroughly, communicate clearly, and establish a bond based on mutual trust.

Personal Nursing Philosophy

In addition to devoting time within the patient care experience, naming a personal nursing philosophy is also a powerful thing for nurse practitioners to do. But what does it look like to name a philosophy and then put it into practice in the way you treat patients? Think about what sets NPs apart from other providers– a focus on health promotion, disease prevention, counseling and education, and guiding overall health and lifestyle choices. Perhaps you want your practice philosophy to center on a holistic approach to patient care, or to help positively impact the lifestyle decisions made by your patients through helpful and compassionate conversations. Carry that philosophy with you into every corner of what you do.

Whole-Person Care

Nurse practitioners approach patient care with a unique emphasis on overall health and wellness. NPs are often treating a broad range of issues, and bringing to the table a whole wealth of knowledge rather than practicing in a hyper specific treatment area. That’s not to say that NPs don’t sometimes find practice areas or niches within nursing– but often they see and treat a scope of patients and ailments, drawing from the perspective and knowledge of how the body works as a whole, how one thing affects another, and so on. This holistic perspective works hand in hand with ongoing care, and the patient relationship.

Nurse Practitioner/Patient Relationship

Over the course of treatment, and through continued assessment and dialog, nurse practitioners are able to get to know their patients and build relationships with them over time. Based on a created foundation of knowledge of a patient’s medical history and progress, the NP can get a broader view of the person’s health needs, family history, goals, and issues– all of which result in the provider’s ability to ensure exceptional care from an informed position. In short, the provider-patient relationship can grow with time, and health goals can be actualized and met collaboratively. The more the NP knows about the patient and patient’s treatment history, the more accurate and patient-specific treatments can be.

This all goes back to time. Being able to spend adequate time with each patient allows the nurse practitioner to put all of these things into play– to foster a mutual trust and respect, to practice a care philosophy, to actively provide whole-patient care, and to work as a team to address health issues while bolstering the patient’s wellness goals.