What is AIDET? (And, why does it matter to Travel Nurses?)

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By Medely

June 9, 2021

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What is AIDET? (And, why does it matter to Travel Nurses?)

This article was provided by Medely.

The amount of information you learn throughout nursing school is truly mind-boggling. From terminology to pharmaceutical interactions, from anatomy to practice policy, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals become walking textbooks of medical knowledge by graduating from their respective programs. And AIDET is more than another important acronym for healthcare workers to learn.

But it takes more than theoretical theory to practice as a Nurse successfully. Some of the essential skills in healthcare are not taught in an academic setting but absorbed through practice and real-world experience. Professionals must develop soft skills, including bedside manner and patient communication on the ground. 

Luckily, new Nurses have a set of tools at their disposal, making the intricacies of patient interaction a little easier. One of these tools is known as AIDET. 

What is AIDET?

AIDET is a concept of patient communication designed to decrease patient anxiety, increase patient compliance, and improve clinical outcomes. It serves as a guideline for practical, straightforward, and policy-compliant interactions between patient and professional. 

AIDET is an acronym illustrating the steps Nurses and other Allied Health Pros should take when speaking with patients or families about care. The letters in AIDET stand for:

Acknowledge.

Greet your patient by name, and recognize any family members who also might be present. You can ask them their names and how they are related to your patient. This step can set the mood for the entire visit, and it’s essential to have a warm attitude and friendly demeanor. 

Introduce. 

Let the patient know who you are. Include your name, profession, title, and any other pertinent information they may need to know. If you are replacing another Nurse who has gone off-duty, acknowledge the shift change and provide them with a brief explanation. 

Duration. 

Give your patient an accurate and precise timeline for their treatment that day. Let them know when providers will perform tests, the turnaround time for those tests when the physician will arrive, the next steps in their course of treatment, and any updates on their progress.

Explanation. 

After confirming that they understand why they are receiving care, give a detailed step-by-step explanation of their planned course of treatment in your facility. A medical understanding can include prescribed medications, how to prepare for specific tests, any planned operations or procedures, and where they can contact you if they have questions or need support. 

Thank you. 

Express your gratitude to the patient for their time, understanding, cooperation, and patience. If appropriate, thank the patient for choosing your particular hospital or clinic. It would be best to thank the family for being there to offer their support to your patient. 

Benefits

AIDET is more than just a convenient acronym that helps you talk to your patients and their families. It is an evidence-based communication technique that enables you to provide better and more effective care to your patients. Multiple studies have shown that the AIDET technique helps increase patient satisfaction and improve medical outcomes. 

One of these studies from Jason Scott of Witham Health Services demonstrates how the use of tools like AIDET helps to facilitate a culture of quality care among medical staff. Better care, in turn, led to better patient outcomes and increased patient satisfaction—patients whose Care Team use AIDET genuinely feel that they receive quality care. 

Other benefits gained from the AIDET method include:

  1. Approaching your patient in a friendly and welcoming manner can help put them at ease and foster a sense of trust. It can be scary receiving medical treatment, and it’s easy for patients to feel anxious, defensive, and dehumanized. However, if you are kind and forthcoming with your patient, this will help calm their anxiety and make treatment more accessible. Comfortable patients are more likely to accept treatment, leading to better outcomes for both the patient and the healthcare facility.
  2. The AIDET method helps maintain patient loyalty over the long term. Especially in densely populated areas, patients may switch healthcare providers if they have had an uncomfortable or unpleasant experience. One of the previously mentioned studies shows communicating with patients using the AIDET method has a better perception of the quality of their treatment. And a satisfied patient is more likely to stick with your facility and recommend it to their friends and family.
  3.  Implementing the AIDET method at your facility can also help to create a culture of quality care. It’s a great way to ensure that providers deliver consistent measures of empathy, concern, and appreciation for their patients. Patient communication is often considered an intangible value within healthcare facilities, but using AIDET can help formalize and strategize aspects of provider/patient interactions. Using AIDET benefits your patients and gives your facility the tools it needs to improve company culture and organizational outcomes. 

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