Two things. First, I am going to be messing with the site’s theme so sit back, relax, and have a toasty blanket.
Second, toasty blankets! Nurses, a cozy patient is a happy patient.
An uncomfortable/uneducated/anxious patient is going to be on that call bell incessantly. If you have access to heated blankets at your facility, hook your chilly patient up with one. We do not always have the best climate control options, but a toasty blanket is like a hug that last long after you have left the room.
Leaving the room. Always ask the patient if there is anything else you can do for them before you go. This does a couple things for the patient; it let’s them know you care enough to ask, it allows them an opportunity to request something now (instead of 30 seconds after you leave), and they are far less likely to be on their call bell for a bunch of little things that can all be taken care of once. An extra five minutes at the beginning of the shift can save you a significant chunk of time during a shift.
The patients are sometimes the least of our problems. A demanding family member can also tax us for time. Set the agenda when you first meet walk in the room. Acknowledge the patient, then the family members in the room. Let everyone know what you plan to do during your shift, explain procedures as you do them (politely kick family out of the room if needed), and offer to get them refreshment. It has never been much trouble for me to obtain an extra can of ginger ale or Jell-o from the nourishment station. It tells the demanding family member you care about the patient and them.
Improving a patient’s quality of life almost always improves the quality of your patient.