Building rapport can be likened to making a very profitable investment. The time spent in doing it is very small compared to the huge dividends it pays later in positive results witnessed between the managed and those being managed.
Develop a connection
Care workers, must strive to feel and develop a connection with their clients. When patients feel a connection with their caregivers, the likelihood of trusting them and the care process increases. To form relationships based on respect and trust, it is important that caregivers spend quality time with their clients and their clients families. Patients need empathy. They must feel that the caregivers understands their situation and have a genuine interest in improving their independence. By simply giving their undivided attention to a client for a few minutes, a caregiver can build a rapport and a genuine sense of warmth that two hours of disinterested time together cannot provide. Show your clients that you care by interacting and spending time with them and remember that rapport building begins the moment you meet a client.
The approach you take with your clients is important. Don’t be dictatorial; rather approach your clients as a person who is interested in understanding their life’s challenges, but also has the right expertise to assist them. Collaboration is the key, with clients being part of the team. When clients are encouraged to talk, they reveal much about their health and, in this sense they become supportive of their services.
Be friendly. First seek to know more about the client than their ailment only, but also let them know you’re working with them and they need to work with you. Gather as much information as possible about the client. Ask about family, job, hobbies and other interests. This helps to allay the clients anxiety resulting from the client visit. Make and maintain eye contact when discussing care options with your client and respond to the comments they make.
You cannot build a connection without understanding your client. You should know what is important to the client, their goals and desires. Make an effort to get this information if they have a care plan, ask permission to read it, but do not badger them. Let the client reveal their understanding of any problem and how they view it. Have a friendly chat, and after identifying your common interests, the information from the client will enable you to know how you can best help them. Always remember to follow your task list, if you have any questions you need to contact your supervisor.
Note to Staff
Remember to watch the DVD on Professional Boundaries available on the employee page of the website. This will give you valuable insight into how to manage tricky situations with your clients.