hha trust with clients

Home Health Aide: Building Trust with Patients

Time for HHA’s To Connect

Are you a home health aide (HHA) who is looking to improve your patient relationships?

That is not something that is in the formal home health aide job description, is it?

We know that building strong, lasting relationships with clients can be challenging. That’s why we created this quick guide for HHA’s and other caregivers. It includes tips on how to connect with patients in ways that will make them feel heard and understood, so they are more likely to trust you as their doctor.

You want the best for your patients – but sometimes it’s hard to communicate what they need from you. We understand the challenges of being a caregiver today.

And we have strategies that will help you build stronger relationships with your patients every day of the week!

The Basics

Why is it important for a home health aide to develop trust with their patient? It’s because the emotional connection they establish will make them stand out and differentiates themselves from other aides.

When a patient is emotionally engaged with you, they are more likely to feel empowered about their own health. Not only that, but when patients trust and rely on physicians as sources of knowledge, they’re also much less anxious throughout any treatments or procedures—and thus tend to return for regular check-ups so that problems can be prevented early rather than left until it’s too late.

Here are some ways a home health aide can establish trust with their clients:

1. Greet the patient every time you visit them and check in on how they’re feeling (without being asked). When patients see that you care about them, they’re more likely to feel inspired by your help.

2. Always plan ahead before you arrive at their home so it runs smooth as possible. Make sure you have everything you need for treatment planned out and ready to do to save time when you get there. If the patient knows what to expect from each session, they’ll be less anxious or stressed for arrival times and circumstances, which will make treatment go more smoothly.

3. Be honest with your patient about their progress and answer questions honestly. They may feel frustrated if they’re not improving as quickly as they think they should, but it will be worse for them if you tell them what they want to hear just because it’s easier than telling the truth.

4. If your client is taking longer than expected to make progress, don’t give up and lose hope! Be creative; look for other ways to treat their condition so they’ll get better faster.

5. Don’t ignore or neglect your patients’ pain and discomfort during any treatments; instead, talk with them about how you can work together to reduce discomfort from procedures. Ask if they would like a heating pad before starting anything painful, or a pillow behind their neck in between treatments if sedation is necessary.

HHA Trust from The Beginning

The best way for a caregiver to connect with patients is through empathy.

Empathy can be defined as the ability to recognize and relate with another person’s emotions without feeling those same feelings yourself.

When you’re a home health aide, there are several things that can get in the way of empathy. You might feel anxious about your job and let this anxiety affect how you empathize with patients — like when tensions rise between yourself and a patient or if it feels like their emotional needs aren’t being addressed as much as they should be.

You may also not be as empathetic because you’re distracted by things at home. Many healthcare aides have to balance jobs with furthering their education, and this can make it difficult to empathize with patients.

Information is Key

You must provide your patient with the information they need. What can they expect from you next time or during a specific procedure? If you don’t know something, tell them that you will find out and get back to them later on it.

It’s important to be honest with your patients because you’re a source of information for them.

However, if they ask about something that is privileged and should not be shared (e.g., patient diagnosis), tell them that it’s protected by doctor-patient confidentiality and cannot be disclosed.

Treating Patients the Right Way

Patients may have certain rights as well. They can refuse tests or procedures if they want to decline being treated in general. In most cases, they are aware of their medical conditions better than anyone else is, so defer to their judgement instead of imposing yours on them. Healthcare aides must also comply with HIPAA laws at all times as well since this protects patient privacy.

If a patient tells you something in confidence, then you must always treat it as very confidential and private. You have a duty to keep it under wraps and never disclose this information.

Patient confidentiality is an important issue that you must be aware of as a healthcare worker.

Never violate patient confidentiality regardless of any situation or circumstance unless the situation becomes life-threatening, such as if someone appears in dire need of medical attention before your eyes. If this is the case, then do whatever you can to help them out because they are in immediate risk at that point in time, but do not reveal anything they said about themselves or anything else they told you in private.

Easy Does It

To deepen the connection, you have with your patients, it can be helpful to remain calm and collected; even is the client is abusive.

However, this can be difficult when they are in pain or scared; sometimes things just get complicated. To stay composed if a patient is getting on their nerves: develop an effective plan!

For example: if they are yelling, you can send them in a different room so that they won’t be so loud or you could give them an item to fiddle with. If a patient is getting scared and anxious, it might be best for someone else to help calm them down and reassure them.

As a medical professional, your job is to help patients discover the powerful role they have in their health. You should teach them how to make inquires and speak up about their concerns because it will build trust with you if they feel supported enough by you that can open up about any issue or concern instead of thinking of anyone else first when trying to find quality care.

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