Peplau (1952) observed the nurse as a fundamental tool for change whilst explaining how powerful the nurse-patient relationship is. The nurse approaches the relationship with understanding and experience obtained personally through their lives but also through their training and work. Generally, it is considered the more training and work experience a nurse has, the more therapeutically effective they are likely to be but this is not always the case. Stuart and Sudeen (1997). There are many influences on the relationship that can both obstruct or benefit the nurse-patient relationship. Having a supportive, open, non-judgmental nature aids effective patient-nurse interactions which are important to reduce patient’s vulnerability and distress. Being there for patients reflects not only a positive, welcoming attitude of the nurse, but shows commitment, respect and value to the patient. Presence is defined as physical and psychological being so a nurse ‘being’ with a patient is essential for the purpose of meeting the patient’s health care needs. A nurse must take time to listen and understand the patients experience without being non judgmental, and to deliver the care needs of the patient. A central aim of building a relationship includes initiating supportive interpersonal communication in order to understand perceptions and needs of others. Reynolds and Scott (1999)This assignment will explain how aspects of the nurse-patient relationship are necessary for the provision of patient-focused care within any branch of nursing.
The nurse patient relationship depends on the attitude and personality of the nurse. As a mental health nurse student, forming a positive, trusting relationship firstly involves the process of relaying information and paying attention to non-verbal cues such as body language and eye contact. Both the NICE guidance and the NHS Constitution () stress the importance of good communication between healthcare professionals and patients. Non verbal messages transfer both positive and negative signals. From the patients point of view, positive signals can express that the nurse is approachable, trusting and has an interest to care and communicate appropriately with their needs. This is indicated via listening without judging and responding whilst understanding to help create therapeutic relationships. Even without the patient being vocal or asking for anything, the art of the nurse profession is noticing when something is wrong and delivering good practice based on respect and dignity. Both nurses and patients may adapt non verbal negative cues such as bad posture, facial expression, or space boundaries which indicate at first impression vulnerability or distress. Using body language plays an important role in building rapport with patients as some body postures may not facilitate certain patients. Evaluating body language is also part of the nurse accessing the patient, whilst considering their future clinical relationship as it involves data collection, both physically and psychologically that may be useful in assessment, diagnosis, treatment and care plans. every interaction whether verbal or non verbal between the nurse and patient is placed within the overall context of a relationship. Throughout the course of a student nurses training, social interactions are part of learning to become a skilled nurse. As such, nursing is a social activity and nurses need to be socially competent. They must be skilled in the art of interpersonal communication and human relationship building. Professional codes of practice dictate that nurses are capable of relating therapeutically with patients as more than passive recipients of care. Relationships between patient and nurses humanise healthcare because they are part of the vehicles of which nurses respond to patient’s subjective experience through building rapour and knowing exactly what the patient’s needs are. As well as the strong relationships with patients,...
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