Has your healthcare facility transitioned some services to a telemedicine platform? Telemedicine and, more broadly, telehealth is more popular than ever, especially thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the way it has created shortages in healthcare facilities and the need to keep physical distance. It’s safe to say that if you’re not practicing some form of virtual medicine now, you could very well be doing so in the near future.
Here are a few quick tips to help you transition your nursing skills to virtual platforms:
- Use clear, plain language. It’s more important now than ever that you use clear, plain, concise language when educating patients or explaining their care needs. It’s easy to miss things over a video link, so make sure you don’t rush through things — speak clearly and plainly so that you’re sure the patient understands.
- Focus on your body language. Remember that while you’re not face-to-face with your patient, they can still see you. That’s why your facial expressions and body language are so important. It’s easy to unconsciously cross your arms, or stare off blankly, while on a virtual consult. Do your best to maintain an open, friendly, honest body language and expression so that your patients feel comfortable.
- Try visual aids. Consider using visual aids — something as simple as a diagram printed on an 8.5” x 11” sheet of printer paper, for example — to help explain things clearly to patients while on video calls. Many people are visual learners, and a verbal explanation of symptoms or post-appointment care requirements might not stick. A visual representation, on the other hand, will make a lasting impression.
- Don’t neglect your bedside manner. Just because you’re not caring for your patient in person doesn’t mean your bedside manner can slide. Always maintain a friendly, helpful, professional tone during telemedicine consultations, just like you would in-person at your healthcare facility.
- Familiarize yourself with compliance rules. Make sure you’re performing telemedicine consults in alignment with HIPAA guidelines. That’s right, HIPAA hasn’t gone out the window now that you’re not helping patients in person! Ask your supervisor for more information on this.
- Always ask if patients have questions. Never end a telemedicine consult without asking the patient if they have any questions. You don’t want to sign off without making sure the patient is completely satisfied.
- Wrap up with key points. As patients get used to this new model of care, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and forget things. That’s why you’ll always want to wrap up a telemedicine appointment with a recap of the key points for the patient to remember.
Are you interested in advancing your career as the healthcare world changes? That’s where we come in. Contact BOS Medical’s staffing professionals today.