When a patient is admitted to your ward, department, service or nursing home, you and your workplace will be making a first impression on your new admission. Like it or not, you will either make a good one or a not so good one.
After 10 years in Patient Transport I have personally witnessed hundreds of new admissions to both hospitals and nursing homes and due to the hectic workloads we now face I have observed a big range in what my patients have experienced when first being admitted, from not being made feel welcome at all to feeling like they are returning home to family.
I have 4 quick tips on what can help to make the first few minutes of the admission process run smoothly for your patients and they only take minutes to implement.
1/ Smile: Even if you are frantic and you have nowhere to put the unexpected admission that has just arrived…remember it’s not the patient’s fault, so making them feel at ease by offering a friendly smile will go a long way towards a making a good first impression.
2/ Be friendly: While offering your smile be friendly by saying “hello and welcome” or “how was your trip?” will definitely help your patient to feel at ease and give the impression that you care about them as a person. As the first person they meet on your ward, you are in fact representing your whole ward and the patient in those precious first few minutes will be forming their opinion about your whole ward based on what you do and say.
3/ Make them comfortable: Any small comfort measures can make a big impression. Make them feel warm by offering a blanket from the blanket warmer. Offer a cup of tea, often a real favourite with the seniors. Many patients are transported over meal times so they miss their meal at both ends so offering a sandwich or snack can also be well received. Some patients may also require pain relief upon arrival. Note: Some patients may be fasting or on dietary restrictions.
4/ Tell them your first name: This is what you would do for any guest visiting your home so why not extend the same courtesy to all your new admissions. Wearing a badge with your first name in big print can also act as a reminder as your new patient will no doubt be meeting many new faces with many names to remember.
You may be reading this and be thinking that I am trying to teach you how to “suck eggs”…well if you feel that way that is great as it probably means that you are already doing way more than my basic tips and are in fact treating all your new admissions to your personal VIP treatment.
I would love to hear back from you so please post a comment about what you or your ward does to roll out the red carpet.