Residents prefer caregivers who will sit down on the job

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Residents prefer caregivers who will sit down on the job
Residents prefer caregivers who will sit down on the job
The subtle difference between standing and sitting next to a patient or resident can make a huge difference in that person's perception of their care, a new study reveals.

A pilot study of clinician-patient consultations discovered that patients perceived that a clinician spent more time talking to them when the clinician was seated, as opposed to than when they were standing. The patients in the study incorrectly estimated that the clinician spent as long as five to 15 minutes longer with them when seated, according to a University of Kansas Hospital study.

Patients reported higher satisfaction scores when the clinician was seated, and responded that the clinician seemed more open, friendly and relaxed when they sat down for each consultation.

Investigators said the effects of sitting with a patient are similar to when an adult kneels to be eye-level when talking with a child. The position shift is calming.

“I think that nurse practitioners, bedside nurses or other professionals working with patients need to be aware of the impact of something as small as sitting versus standing makes on patient perceptions,” the study's supervisor, Joan K. McMahon, MSA, BSN, told The Kansas City Nursing News. “We all learn in school that it is good to sit down when interacting with patients, but I am not sure we were ever told they why,” she said.