The Power of the Nurse-Patient Relationship: Mentoring and Guidance is Critical to Behavior Change
Health coaching is at the heart of what we do at Health Dialog. Building lasting relationships with our patients can help drive positive behavior change and increase self-management of chronic conditions. The personalized experienced of a one-on-one health coach can give patients the tools and confidence they need in order to reach their health goals.
One member, Susan, connected with a health coach that forever changed her health journey.
Susan’s Health Journey
- 39 years old
- Multiple chronic conditions - Asthma, Hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes
- Lives with an anxiety disorder
- Reported abnormalities in her EKG and changes in her heart rate
Our Health Coach, Jane, first met Susan in August 2017 while answering an inbound call. After discussing Susan’s current concern of changes in heart rate, Jane completed a symptom check. While not an urgent concern, she referred Susan to her Primary Care Provider (PCP) to discuss this further.
Jane wanted to know more about Susan than just why she was calling. She wanted to get to know the person behind the patient and just how she could help improve Susan’s overall state of health. Jane was able to uncover that Susan lives with anxiety and currently does not have a mental health provider. Jane was able to send her materials about self-care for anxiety. Additionally, she was able to connect Susan to a case management and other programs for members with Asthma through her health insurance provider.
Health coaching is not short lived relationship. Each and every month, Jane calls Susan to check in. Since they first spoke in August of 2017, Susan has taken steps to improve her health one step at a time. First she booked an appointment with a cardiologist. Next she was able to bring her blood pressure down to normal levels. The continued outreach and support from Jane has helped Susan to continually set and prioritize new goals – both short and long term. She has starting seeing a mental health provider weekly to help manage her anxiety. While working on her anxiety, she has taken steps toward lifestyle changes like adding light exercise into her life. With these changes, Susan now has more energy and less anxiety that enables her to work with providers for other conditions to better manage them. She plans to continue to work with Jane to set and achieve new related goals.
Our coaches take enjoy making connections and watching a patient take steps to improve their health. “Developing a rapport and helping the patient identifying their strengths and challenges is a big step in transforming discussion into goals and then action steps toward healthy behavior changes,” said Jane. The relationship built here demonstrates that health coaching is a proven way to help individuals understand and manage their conditions. While Susan may have had the intrinsic motivation to change her behavior and lifestyle, without Jane's help she may not have had the motivation to take charge of her health.