When it comes to treating patients, it’s not enough to just provide medical care. Comfort, reliability, and solid communication are all critical to creating a safe and productive relationship between patients and health professionals. Therapeutic communication allows you to care for your patients’ emotional well-being as well as their physical health. With the added stress of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to practice good communication with your patients so that you can make each interaction and case as smooth and efficient as possible. You can learn more about the importance of therapeutic communication in healthcare with this guide on what it is, how to practice it, and why it matters.
What Is Therapeutic Communication?
Therapeutic communication is more than just effectively exchanging information with a patient. When a healthcare professional practices therapeutic communication, they help better the patient’s understanding of their situation through both verbal and nonverbal cues. They also actively encourage patients to express their feelings and ideas. There are many ways to practice therapeutic communication, including establishing yourself as a reliable source of information, getting to know your patients as people rather than cases, and displaying empathy when comforting stressed patients. This effort deepens the relationship between patient and healthcare professional, allowing feelings of trust and making patient care easier for everyone involved.
The Importance of Therapeutic Communication in Healthcare
When nurses and other healthcare professionals practice therapeutic communication, they help put patients at ease and create a safer, more comfortable space to give and receive care. Just as importantly, therapeutic communication helps patients and healthcare professionals work together better. For example, when a patient is more comfortable speaking up and explaining their circumstances, professionals can gain a better assessment of their health and needs. This leads to fewer errors throughout treatment. Therapeutic communication can even continue to benefit patients long after they leave the medical facility. When patients feel more confident in their healthcare providers, they’ll more likely adhere to any follow-up instructions and guidelines they may receive.
By practicing therapeutic communication, healthcare professionals establish an authentic and caring relationship with their patients. Not only does this make their job easier, but it also helps create a smoother, more comfortable, and far more effective visit for each patient who enters their facility.