31 Ways to Empower Your Patients and Yourself as a Nurse

Empowerment is a strong tool. When we empower ourselves and the people around us, great things happen. The environment becomes more pleasant, attitudes become more positive, and everyone seems to work better together. Here are 31 ways to empower your patients, co-workers, and yourself to help make every shift a little better.

For your patients:

  1. Speak face to face – making eye contact shows you are listening and you truly care about what your patient is saying.
  2. Listen to what your patient is saying – don’t interrupt your patient and address their concerns or issues.
  3. Validate your patient’s concerns – tell them that you hear them and understand what their concerns are.
  4. Do not argue – talk calmly to your patients and try not to get upset.
  5. Give your patients independence – find small tasks that they can do on their own.
  6. Keep items in plain sight – don’t try and hide anything from your patients and make sure things are in their eye line.
  7. Offer choices – maybe just two choices, but this allows them to have a little power over their life at the moment.
  8. Simplify everything – do things in small steps and don’t over complicate your directions to your patient.
  9. Remember they are a person, not a number – treat each patient as the person they are.
  10. Educate – give them material to read, information to look up, and good advice.
  11. Never shame – don’t treat your patients like a bad puppy.
  12. Never say “I told you…” – if your patient isn’t understanding what you are saying, take a deep breath and say it in a different way.
  13. Never say “you can’t” – don’t be negative to your patients. Instead tell them what they can do.
  14. Don’t force anything on your patients – explain why it’s important and educate your patient.
  15. Encourage and praise – positive reinforcement goes a long way!

For yourself:

  1. Avoid the temptation of “the victim’s mindset” – you may not be able to control everything, but you can control how to react to everything.
  2. Dump the excuses – you know what they say about excuses…everyone has one (they actually say something else, but this is a family blog).
  3. Got an obstacle? Find a new way – don’t let something stop you from accomplishing what you need to get done. If you can’t go over it, you can’t go through it, you can’t go under it, you must go around it!
  4. Make things better – having a bad day? Try and find one thing that makes you smile.
  5. Try something different – not getting the results you want? Try a different way.
  6. Look at the situation from another perspective – how does your co-workers see a situation? Or your patients? Or their families?
  7. Don’t compare yourself to someone else – we often think we are worse off because someone else is doing better.  Sadly, this is an even truer reality thanks to social media. Don’t worry, you are doing great!
  8. Ignore the false truths – don’t judge yourself or others based on what you think is supposed to be right. Take very situation as its own.
  9. Take your own path – everyone has their own journey and every journey is unique to each person.
  10. Don’t judge – everyone is fighting a battle. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
  11. Be kind – being kind to others reflect the kindness you have for yourself.
  12. Believe in yourself – you are enough!
  13. Ask the right questions – not “why me?” or “why them?” Instead, ask “what can I do to make this better?” Or “how can I improve?” “What steps can I take from here?”
  14. Pay close attention to your emotions – ask yourself “why am I angry or upset?” And “does it matter?” If yes, “how can I make it better or learn from this experience?”
  15. Love yourself – take time to care for you. Take a long bath, get a massage. And never feel guilty about it.
  16. Breathe – when situations get hard, take a step back and breathe. Clear your head and don’t react over anger, fear or sadness.







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