Why Trust and Respect Matters for Nurses

The healthcare sector is, above most other sectors, one of the most difficult sectors to work in. Along with education, healthcare requires patient dedication and trust.

If you are considering taking a career in nursing, you need to be aware of the need for trust and respect within the nursing field and understand how mastering the art of being trustworthy and gaining your patients’ respect (as well as your team’s respect) is so important.

The Importance Of Being A Good Nursing Leader

The best leaders are those who build trust and respect in their employees.

They simply make themselves available to listen to what staff members need and act quickly. They show compassion, understanding, and reassurance when things aren’t going well, and they set clear expectations for how things will be done (very carefully).

They encourage collaboration because it’s impossible to be effective without it.

They keep all their people on track toward the same goal by rewarding both good performance and good behavior; that is one of the keys to personal excellence in nursing leadership.

The higher you move up the nursing career track, the better leadership will become important.

Higher-level degree programs such as the online Doctor of Nursing Practice will usually spend time focusing on how to improve your leadership style and building trust and respect with not only your patients but also the entire team you will be responsible for looking after.

Why Is Trust Important in Healthcare?

It’s one of the most difficult aspects of working in any industry to build and keep trust and respect with patients, colleagues, and managers. It’s also one of the most important parts of your job.

However, it is hard to earn trust and respect because it requires taking the time to show others you care about what they do and how they do it.

Some of the ways you can help to build respect between yourself and someone else you are speaking with include:

  • Talking to patients like they are people, not numbers.
  • Having real conversations with patients to find out how they are feeling, what they are worried about, and what their goals are.
  • Having the patience to allow the patient to actually respond to your words of encouragement because no one can feel better if they don’t feel heard.
  • Recognizing patients as people who want to do well and be well.
  • Rewarding good behavior by both workers and patients, either by offering praise or little treats or being flexible about scheduling. Do everything you can to show that you respect other peoples’ autonomy.
  • Work collaboratively with all members of your team, so everyone is on the same page and knows their role in helping your patient recover.

While the above list may focus on patients, the same tips can be used when conversing with colleagues too.

Why Is Respect Important in Nursing?

Respect is an essential part of nursing.

It is important because you will need to earn this within your team and be willing to go the extra mile for that patient you are treating. This can lead to more success and a better experience for both patients and nurses.

There are many who claim that they believe in the importance of respect, but little or nothing is done about keeping it within the healthcare industry. Until nurses stand together and demand respect from all, we will continue to make nursing look like a broken profession.

Building Dignity Into Patient Care

As a nurse, one of the most important things you can do is to build dignity into patient care. That means treating people with the utmost respect while also being aware that everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

One way to show respect for a patient is to ask them their opinion on the treatment plan during the initial visit.

People want to be treated like they are in control of their own fates; this is especially true if they are facing an illness or injury which makes them feel less than in control (like breast cancer).

Simply asking patients how they feel about things and approaching them with kindness and interest will go a long way toward showing that you appreciate who they are, not just what they need.

Improving Trust Through Education

The DNP program is relatively new to healthcare but has grown rapidly in popularity. Many nurses are seeking this level of education to fulfill their career goals.

Possible career paths for newly graduated nurses after earning a DNP include pediatric nurse practitioner, nurse practitioner specialist, research nurse, nurse leader, health informatician, physician extender.

By taking on higher education, nurses can increase their options and respect both within and outside of the healthcare industry.

Being a good nursing leader often comes with the understanding that you will need to be willing to demonstrate trustworthiness and respect with your patients, staff members, and even your managers.

All good nursing programs should include sessions on patient respect and dignity; you should ensure that your course will match your needs by:

Assessing Your Needs

Assess all of your needs and whether the program offers what you need. If it does, choose the program. If not, look at other programs.

Assessing Your Course Materials and Lecturers

Assess the course materials for their usefulness to you and the lecturers for the quality of their presentation. Ask others about what they think of each course before you decide to enroll in a particular program.

Assessing Your School’s Commitment to You

Assess how much your school cares about student achievement and how well they care for their students outside of class as well as inside it.

How Trust Improves Patient Care

Nurses are trusted by patients, physicians, and other healthcare practitioners because of their compassion, care, and concern for the patient. Quality healthcare is provided by nurses who are trusted to perform their duties with high quality of care.

When patients trust nurses, they are more likely to tell nurses what they are experiencing. Nurses can use this information to respond with proper treatment.

When patients trust the nurse and the nurse has earned that trust by demonstrating professional behavior and communicating effectively with them about their health care needs, then patients will follow instructions for treatment and adhere to the prescribed treatment plan. This translates into better hospital outcomes and reduced readmissions or complications.

Respect Between Nursing Teams and Leadership

Every healthcare team needs to have a strong respect for one another. It is important for all members of the team to work together toward the patient’s satisfaction.

Respect between groups is based on shared goals, principles, expectations, priorities, vision, values, and leadership.

These are what you need in order to build trust between your employees and employees of other teams in your company. All of these principles are vital in creating respect between nursing teams working towards improving patient care outcomes.

Understanding What Respect Means Across All Groups and Organizations

It is important to understand what respect means across all groups and organizations.

Respect means that members of the organization are treated with dignity, respect, and concern for their needs. Everyone should also be treated with respect.

Nurses should make sure they are treating everyone in the organization with respect. This will build trust between nurses and other groups to increase patient safety throughout the healthcare system.

Respect is the understanding that each team member is also valuable and has a role to play in providing quality healthcare.

This means that all members of the organization should be treated with respect and dignity. This can be referred to as “team respect” when it comes to nursing teams, but it does apply to all groups within an organization or business unit.

Nurses must lead by example when it comes to demonstrating the importance of showing respect for all patients, colleagues, and leadership at your workplace.

Translating Respect Into Compliments & Positive Feedback for Nursing Teams

Understanding how we can use positive feedback and compliments within our organizations and nursing teams is very important. Every nurse should feel like they are respected by their colleagues and provide the best care possible to their patients.

There are several ways that nurses can build respect within their teams through positive feedback.

Nurses can improve overall communication between members of their team by using positive feedback just as easily as they can use negative feedback.

The important thing is to be consistent with the way you handle these situations so that it is just as easy to deliver praise as it is to deliver a correction. That being said, all praise should be genuine and reflect your true feelings about the person’s work or behavior.


Since the beginning of time, healthcare has been an important part of every society.

In many communities, when you need medical help, you go to a hospital. In most hospitals, if you need palliative care or pain relief, you go to a nurse for that service.

Today’s nurses have an opportunity to work in a variety of different areas in the health care system. Nurses may work in the hospital, in a field with patients at home, in an office with patients who can be seen at a clinic, or outside in the community, somewhere providing services in a school setting.


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