Nurses have come to realize that it takes more than medicine for a patient to recover. Patients who are hospitalized spend most of the day in bed feeling sorry for themselves and hoping to get better. It is important to get the patient to interact and get involved in various activities. Health care providers should be educated on the fact that for patients to recover faster there has to be a good patient–health care provider relationship. A survey done at hospitals revealed that patients who had friendly and warm relationships with their nurses and doctors developed strong trusting relationships and in a short time recovered.
Some ways that health care providers can use to promote that friendliness and warmth includes touch. When people are sick they feel like people reject them and don’t want to associate with them. This is where the health care providers are expected to go an extra mile. Sit by the patients bed side, assess how he/she feels, to offer reassurance and comfort, touch the patient and smile. Be sure to first consult with the patient because in some cultures touch is considered inappropriate; but a smile is always helpful.
Doctors agree that smiling and helping patients relax speeds up their recovery. When a patient is tense, angry and worries a lot this suppresses his/her immune system. The immune system is our body’s defense system to diseases and when it’s down we get vulnerable to many diseases. Therefore in order to boost your patient’s immune system, cheer them up. Make jokes with your patients and let them laugh out loud. When they laugh the body produces antibodies which protect them against infections, helps reduce pain and also speed up recovery. As you can see being friendly and warm is helpful in many ways and this should not be limited to healthcare facilities only. When I meet people, most of them complain, either about the economy, they lack of a good house, the bad hair day, the weather. It seems like we spend so much time being negative about things we cannot change. It is a challenge for us to spread happiness and laughter all around.
According to American Professor William Fry, laughing 20 times a day is as good as rowing a boat 10 times. Studies have also shown that laughing or giggling lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation and pain in cases of arthritis. As a health care provider do you best to provide a positive and cheerful atmosphere around your patients. If you cannot smile or laugh due to personal reasons then try and fake a smile. Yes, fake smiles trigger the release of endorphins which will make you feel good. Once you start feeling good your positivity and happiness will be contagious. If you care about your patients’ recovery take some time to be friendly and remember they say a merry heart doeth good like medicine.