Health & Fitness

Seven ways of using positivity to improve patient care in medical facilities

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Positivity is very strongly linked to your mental and physical health. It is known to boost your immune system, make you more energetic and healthier, minimize stress, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Research shows that those with a positive outlook on life were 1/3rd less likely to experience cardiovascular problems and heart attacks than others despite having a family history of heart disease.

In a healthcare setting, negativity and fear of worsening outcomes are inevitable. Being surrounded by illness and death, patients will feel stressed out and overwhelmed.

Such thinking can negatively impact the patient’s health outcomes, and healthcare facilities should strive towards boosting their patients’ morale.

Patient satisfaction is one of the leading goals for any healthcare provider. Research shows that nurses’ optimism is strongly related to supervisor ratings and increased customer satisfaction.

Every individual employee and manager in a medical facility plays a crucial role in maintaining the overall positive outlook in the workplace and conveying such positivity to their patients.

You can promote positivity in your medical facility to improve patient care in the following ways:

  1.     Be reliable and self-assured

You cannot reassure a patient about positive outcomes unless you are confident and competent in your field of work.

Being unpredictable will limit any feelings of security or emotional safety a patient should ideally feel in a healthcare facility.

You want the patient to trust your ability and see you as a reliable and trustworthy source of help; only then will attempts at promoting positivity be useful.

Therefore, all healthcare providers should be competent, with sufficient experience and education.

Healthcare programs like online masters in aba equip healthcare providers with the practical knowledge, experience, and skill needed to provide reliable care to their patients.

  1.     Maintain a pleasant smile

The last thing a patient in pain and distress wants is a daunting nurse or stern doctor. A smiling face can uplift anyone’s mood and even if you don’t feel up to it, know that a small smile from your end can be of tremendous help for the patient.

A smile from ones’ healthcare provider conveys hope and fosters trust and acceptance. Doing so also helps build the patient’s confidence in you, communicate positivity, make the patient comfortable, and encourage cooperation.

This ultimately improves patient satisfaction. Sometimes healthcare providers avoid being overly cordial or friendly with patients for fear of transference, countertransference, emotional attachment, or personal life stressors.

However, interestingly, research has shown that a smiling expression from someone can instill happiness equal to eating 2000 chocolates! Therefore, be the smiling face that uplifts your patient’s mood.

  1.     Foster healthy relationships with your patients

Other than ones’ family, healthcare providers are the most frequently encountered people for a patient, and relationships with them can significantly impact their thinking.

To promote a positive work environment, you should strive to achieve a relationship of trust and openness with your patients.

Don’t keep them in the dark, engage in shared decision making, be truthful and honest, and communicate clearly.

Be the person your patients can talk to freely, always listen attentively, and address their needs no matter how trivial they may seem.

Fostering such a relationship will make the patient feel that they are not alone in the challenging situation and have someone they can rely on.

  1.     Encourage patients to build resilience

Resilience refers to your ability to cope with hurdles in life without being impacted negatively in the long run. It depends on your ability to use your mental resources, coping skills, optimism, and hope to bounce back after life challenges.

Help your patients build resilience by encouraging them to look at the bright side of things, have faith in themselves and their healthcare providers, accept challenges as a part of life, and list down things they are grateful for.

Research has shown positivity to stimulate growth in the frontal lobes and is related to a higher level of wellbeing and happiness. Resilient people are more positive in their thinking and see setbacks in life as challenges and thus growth opportunities.

  1.     Use welcoming body language 

Your body language is a significant portion of your communication, as important as words. Research shows that your body language, including expressions communicating your emotional and mental states, gestures, and postures, makes up 60% of the process of communication.

In a provider-patient relationship, you can foster respect, build rapport, encourage compliance, and promote positivity with your body language.

Maintain eye contact, smile, be patient, speak softly, and keep an open body position.

  1.     Appreciate and acknowledge small wins

Patients are likely to be influenced negatively by their situation, and they tend to find it difficult to see hope in such circumstances. Help your patients look at small improvements in their medical condition instead of keeping their eyes focused entirely on complete recovery.

We often feel demotivated when our goals seem far away, and appreciating small successes will provide hope and encouragement.

  1.     Be optimistic where needed

There is a fine line between giving an honest and realistic prognosis and not letting the patient or their family lose hope.

While doctors are expected to be realistic in what they convey to the patient, they also recognize the need to keep their patients optimistic about promoting a speedier recovery.

Optimists are oriented towards expecting positive outcomes for the future, and sometimes doctors find themselves in situations where conveying optimism could be dishonest.

Instead of distorting the reality, help your patients focus more on the positive aspects of their condition and look at the available solutions.

How does positivity improve patient outcomes?

Positivity increases your lifespan, reduces the risk of heart attacks, improves overall physical health, boosts the immune system, and allows for better stress management.

At the same time, it promotes creativity, enhances mood, reduces the risk of depression, clears your thinking, and enables better problem-solving.

Together, these can help improve the patient’s long-term prognosis and encourage a speedy recovery

Final words

Patients, especially those suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses, tend to lose hope in life, and this negative thinking worsens their medical condition.

Positivity has numerous physical and mental health benefits to boost your patient’s condition. In a medical facility, you should strive to promote a culture of positivity by being reliable and consistent, frequently smiling, fostering relationships of trust with patients, and being optimistic.

Your patients rely heavily on you, and your behavior can create hope for the future.


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