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Building Strong Relationships with Patients as an Anesthesia Provider


As a CRNA in a leadership role, I am often asked about the keys to building strong relationships with patients, fellow clinicians as well as hospital partners. It's a question that's close to my heart, as I know that establishing trust and rapport is essential to ensuring a positive experience and the best possible outcomes for all.


So, how can you build strong relationships with everyone you interact with throughout the day? Here are a few key tips:


  1. Listen actively- Active listening is the foundation of any good relationship, and it's particularly important when it comes to healthcare. As an anesthesia provider, it's essential that you take the time to listen to concerns, comments, and questions.  During these interactions is it important to make eye contact, nod, and ask clarifying questions to ensure you fully understand.


  1. Explain the process- This is especially important when dealing with patients as they are often nervous about anesthesia, so it's important that you take the time to explain the process in terms they can understand.  This also applies when communicating with clinicians and hospital administrators as each perspective is unique.   Be sure to answer any questions and address any concerns that may arise.


  1. Be compassionate- Being compassionate and kind is key to building any strong relationship.  Patients are often in a vulnerable position when undergoing anesthesia, so it's important that you approach them with compassion and empathy. Take the time to reassure them and make them feel comfortable. It is important to remember that everyone is having to deal with life stressors in varying degrees and we don’t always know the personal struggles others are working through.  Be kind!


  1. Provide clear instructions- As an anesthesia provider, it's important that you provide clear and concise instructions to your patients. Be sure to explain any potential side effects or complications and provide clear guidance on what patients should do if they experience them.  Giving clear instructions is also vital when working through clinical and nonclinical changes within a department or hospital system. 


  1. Follow up- After a procedure or important conversation, take the time to follow up. This could be a phone call, an email, or an in-person visit. Ask how they're feeling or address any concerns they may have. This simple gesture can help build trust and establish a strong, long-lasting relationship.



In conclusion, building strong relationships with patients, clinicians and hospital partners is essential to ensuring the best possible outcomes. By listening actively, explaining the process, being compassionate, providing clear instructions, and following up, you can establish trust and rapport to make everyone comfortable and confident leading to a lasting partnership.

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