Why the Nurse-Patient Relationship is the Heart of Healthcare

The therapeutic relationship has proven to affect health-related outcome of the patient

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Published: Thu 12 May 2022, 9:00 AM

Knowledge cannot replace emotions, and emotions cannot compensate for learning; they both exist as cohorts to each other. This concept assumes vital significance in the nurse-patient relationship that involves emotions and knowledge and is built on a multi-layered foundation of Values, Inputs, Roles, and Responsibilities. Each of these qualities combines to create a nurse’s ‘Voice to Lead’.


A nurse’s values are forged from an array of elements: ethics, emotional generosity, empathy, code of professional conduct, the hospital or healthcare institution’s mission and vision and the quality of professional training. They combine, leading to nursing excellence; they define the quality of care and encourage patients to be decision-makers, a critical part of their care journey. The greater a nurse’s values, the more they motivate and encourage patients to take charge of their recovery and health. When a patient, with the nurse’s help, understands and works towards their recovery through active determination, they uphold the mission of healthcare.

Inputs, Role and Responsibility

A broad outlook on medical care in diagnosis, medication, and treatments. But what is this big picture built on? Connection with patients. Unless this requirement is met, providing exemplary care remains incomplete. Nurses are the vital link in establishing relationships with patients, and study after study has shown the link between patient engagement and recovery. A nurse’s inputs drive nurse-patient engagement. They range from baseline virtues such as Listening, Empathy and Mindfulness to Innovation, Patient Safety Ambassadors, System Auditors, and Quality Care Controllers.

Listening, Mindfulness and Empathy

A nurse undertakes many duties to make their patient’s journey a holistic healing experience. One of the essential inputs is the art of listening. When patients believe they can communicate and be heard, it is a powerful incentive to get better.

An extension of the art of listening, mindfulness is second nature to nurses. The discipline of stilling their minds in their hectic schedule to focus entirely on their patient’s needs is an invaluable skill. It helps nurses

pick up non-verbal cues such as changes in behaviour or compliance habits, which are a critical part of the patient’s language.

Innovation, Patient Safety Ambassadors, Auditors, and Quality Care Controllers

Nurses are invigilators for the medical care processes; they possess keen insights into every step of the patient’s journey, which has led to many innovative ideas for improving care efficiency. Nurse assessments have improved patient journey, hospital systems, medication protocols and quality of care. Healthcare institutions that optimise nurse inputs enjoy a greater degree of evolvement.

As we can see, the role of a nurse has evolved beyond tactical enhancements in the care system to embrace strategic enhancements that are transformational. A nurse’s experience and knowledge are agents of profound changes in the patient-provider relationship.

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