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J Pract Nurs. 1998 Mar;48(1):10-4.

Improving your bedside manner.


Positive bedside manners are essential when caring for patients. Positive bedside manners should be utilized wherever patients and their significant others are encountered. Putting your best foot forward is the first step in establishing a therapeutic relationship. Attention to one's professional image is important if the client is to see the licensed practical/vocational nurse as someone that can be trusted. Next is actively communicating interest and concern. It is also important to communicate empathy and respect through words and actions. The LP/VN must practice attending skills in order for the patient to experience the physical and psychological presence of the nurse. Communicating availability and following up on requests promote the establishment of trust. It is important for the nurse to avoid defensiveness, maintain a professional manner, answer questions honestly, demonstrate integrity, maintain a positive attitude and practice intentional encouragement. All the characteristics will demonstrate a positive bedside manner and will communicate caring and concern to clients and their significant others.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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