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Primary and Team Nursing Models of Patient Care

The model of nursing care

One approach to nursing that I observed is the team model, which requires two nurses to work in collaboration with each other. Specifically, I observed how two medical professionals in the intensive care unit (ICU) dived tasks and attended to the needs of individuals in the ICU together. In essence, they communicated and established specific tasks for each shift and determined how they can help each other to complete the work. The observation lasted for about a month. The fact that these nurses always worked together in this ICU instead of independently accomplishing their tasks led to the belief that they applied the team model of nursing. However, this specific unit did not have a program dedicated to the adoption of the model.

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The context of the contemporary healthcare requirement demands cooperation between different units or with various medical professionals for achieving positive treatment outcomes, which is the main objective of the team nursing model. Dickerson and Latina (2017) define team nursing as a collaboration of individuals that depend on each other and have the same goal. In their article, the authors examine a transitional care unit (TCU) affected by high turnover rates and an increase in the number of complicated patient cases. The new and inexperienced nurses hired by the TCU were working in collaboration with others with an aim to improve the workflow in the unit. In general, the objective was to both improve patient outcomes and nurse satisfaction since the latter is crucial in determining factors such as safety or the number of complications. Dickerson and Latina (2017) argue that team nursing allows medical professionals to share responsibility and support each other. Hence, the described care model is especially valuable for stressful hospital settings.

A different nursing care model is primary care, which emphasizes the relationships between staff members and patients or their family members. Nadeau, Pinner, Murphy, and Belderson (2016) provide an assent of the primary care nursing model in a pediatric setting. The authors state that when this model emerged, it referred to the accountability of one nurse assigned to a patient across the continuum of care. However, the approach evolved over time, and currently, the primary focus is on communication and collaboration between a nurse and his or her patient. The survey presented in this research article suggests that both patients and their families feel more secure when they are assigned a primary care nurse.

Different nursing care models and their implementation

The different care model, in this case, primary care nursing, can be implemented by assigning one nurse to a specific patient and providing her with authority to guide and support a patient over the course of treatment. As the article by Nadeau et al. (2016) and Koberich, Feuchtinger, and Farinsuggests (2016) suggest that this will improve the quality, safety, and staff satisfaction since both burses and patients feel more comfortable when such model is applied. In essence, the adoption of this model can improve the continuum of care since a nurse is more familiar with a specific patient.

Lessons learned about the two nursing care models

Overall, this assignment provided an opportunity of comparing two nursing care models – team and primary. The scholarly resources observed in this paper present an understanding of the specific settings in which each model is appropriate. For instance, a team model of care can be applied in healthcare establishments with high turnover rates, while pediatric oncology units can benefit from adopting a primary care model. In essence, the two approaches can help improve the quality and efficiency of work when used efficiently.


Dickerson, J., & Latina, A. (2017). Team nursing: A collaborative approach improves patient care. Nursing, 47(10), 1-2.

Köberich, S., Feuchtinger, J., & Farin, E. (2016). Factors influencing hospitalized patients’ perception of individualized nursing care: A cross-sectional study. BMC Nursing, 15(1), 1-14. Web.

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Nadeau, K., Pinner, K., Murphy, K., & Belderson, K. M. (2016). Perceptions of a primary nursing care model in a pediatric hematology/oncology unit. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 34(1), 28–34. Web.

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