Modern nursing is primarily based on patient-centered care (Hood, 2018). All nursing theorists, such as Nightingale, Watson, Orem, and others stress out the value and importance of patients as well as their physical and emotional states. Since the purpose of medicine is to promote health, it is only natural that patient-centered care is a popular concept widely applicable to the majority of nursing settings. The characteristics of patient-centered treatments are defined as activities aimed at meeting the individual needs of each client in accordance with his or her features and disease peculiarities (Bell, 2014). The purpose of this paper is to outline these characteristics in relation to individual practice, hospitals, and nursing homes.
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Essential Characteristics of Patient-Centered Care in Professional Nursing
Although patient-centered care can be different depending on the kind of healthcare facility a patient is treated in, it tends to have certain defining characteristics attributed to this kind of care. Patient-centered care at a treating doctor’s office is different from that received at the hospital, or at home during a personalized medical treatment. In all three instances, however, key characteristics of patient-centered care as follows:
- Treatment of causes and symptoms of the disease while involving the patient in the process of decision-making and ensuring that the treatment does not go against the patient’s wishes (Bell, 2014). Informed consent is obtained at all times, and the client is informed about alternative methods of treatment.
- Addressing the patient’s everyday natural needs (Bell, 2014). It is done either by directly assisting the patients in activities they cannot safely perform on their own or by encouraging autonomy by teaching them to cope with their disadvantages.
- Socio-emotional support. Socio-emotional support is aimed at encouraging patients’ results and taking part in social activities (O’shea, Weathers, & McCarthy, 2014). Prolonged sickness and hospital stay are associated with depression and other emotional issues, as well as the degradation of social skills. Encouraging patients to socialize and maintain their emotional balance is one of the core characteristics of patient-centered care.
Although some of these characteristics may be more prevalent and prominent than others depending on the type of treatment received by the patient, all three of them are present in patient-centered care in some shape or form.
Patient- and Family-Centered Care in a Nursing Home Setting
A nursing home is a private institution that provides elderly patients with their daily healthcare needs during a long-term stay. As such, the importance of socio-emotional support is drastically increased as the interactions between the nurses and the patients would form meaningful bonds and ensure trust and respect towards all parties while performing a treatment.
Family plays an integral part in the patient-nurse relationship. Including the family in the decision-making process would contribute to the strengthening of trust and greater confidence during treatments (O’shea et al., 2014). However, conflicts between the patients and the nursing staff can become an issue, especially during a long-term stay.
Commitment and dedication on the part of employees are needed to provide quality care in a nursing home (O’shea et al., 2014). When nurses are suffering from empathy fatigue, they are unable to deliver patient-centered care. Burnout is another reason for a decline in commitment and dedication.
Patient-centered care is one of the critical frameworks implemented within the scope of modern healthcare. It has different characteristics, which include medical assistance in meeting the patient’s daily needs. It is important to ensure good relations and interactions among the nurses, the patients, and the hospital staff in order to improve the chances of a successful recovery.
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Bell, L. (2014). Patient-centered care. American Journal of Critical Care, 23(4), 325. Web.
Hood, L. J. (2018). Leddy & Pepper’s professional nursing (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
O’shea, F., Weathers, E., & McCarthy, G. (2014). Family care experiences in nursing home facilities. Nursing Older People, 26(2), 26-31.