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Patients can sometimes misjudge a nurse's quality of care

One of the most common complaints patients make about nurses involves the quality of care the patients receive. As a nurse, you are undoubtedly scrupulous about following protocol and completing tasks by the book. You may keep careful patient records and avoid unethical situations. However, patient perception plays a major role in measuring the quality of care you provide.

Among many stressful and upsetting events you may go through as a nurse, facing an Arizona State Board of Nursing investigation based on your quality of patient care can be one of the most demoralizing. While it may not be easy to satisfy and console every patient with whom you come in contact, there are some simple behaviors you can avoid that could give your patients a negative opinion of your quality of care.

An ounce of prevention

With your inside knowledge of how hospitals and clinics run, you may wonder how nurses on TV shows accomplish anything. They seem to spend hours gossiping in the halls or socializing across a patient's bed. You might have even seen shows where a nurse has a shouting argument with her significant other right in front of a patient.

While you might not ever make any serious mistakes, it can be easy to fall into any of these behaviors, which could have a negative impact on your patient's opinion of your quality of care:

  • Complaining to your patient or in front of your patient about a co-worker may not only create a sense of mistrust in your patient, but could contribute to an uncomfortable atmosphere in the workplace.
  • Carrying on a conversation with a co-worker about personal matters in front of a patient could give the patient the impression that your attention is not fully focused on his or her needs.
  • Offering your opinion to a patient about the course of treatment a doctor has prescribed could cause the patient to question or refuse medical care that is critical.
  • Expressing your political or religious beliefs can be unsettling to a patient who is feeling vulnerable and ill.
  • Dismissing a patient's questions or rushing through a patient's care because you are busy or in a hurry can be upsetting to a patient who depends on you for care and compassion.

In your experience, you may have learned that good communication is one of the surest ways to establish a rapport of trust and confidence with your patients. You may also know that even your best efforts will not assuage every patient's concerns, and you could still face questions from the Arizona State Board of Nursing regarding complaints about the quality of care you provide. Fortunately, you have the right to legal counsel during the investigation and any ensuing disciplinary process.

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