This article encourages nurses to always think of their patients as a source of inspiration. Doing so will help you understand the importance of your role in helping people improve their health. Being able to provide patient-centered care as a nurse is easier with the tips below.
Defining nursing today
A nurse is a professional who provides direct and indirect patient care, support, education, and training to patients/families and communities. The purpose is to help them achieve optimum health while striving to meet their needs with dignity and respect (American Nurses Association). The profession of nursing has evolved significantly since its inception as it progresses through the 21st century.
Also, with healthcare becoming an increasingly more competitive industry, it is important for nurses to have a competitive edge during interviews and on the job search. Self-development and career advancement are crucial parts of the nursing profession. Hopefully, this writeup provides nurses with insights on how to practice patient-centered care as a nurse.
Patient-centered care competencies and knowledge for nurses
Patient-centered care is an important philosophy and practice in healthcare. It emphasizes the importance of the patient’s experiences, values, and priorities in decision-making processes. This type of care requires nurses to consider their patients’ specific needs while performing their roles as health professionals.
Moreover, it requires them to demonstrate a wide range of skills and knowledge. Among the crucial aspects are self-awareness, empathy, and building rapport with patients and families.
Also integral to putting patients as the primary focus is building collaborative partnerships with other health professionals to enable that to happen. Participating in the decision-making process is a must too. Nurses receive medical training during their undergraduate degrees or after graduation when they enroll in a nurse residency program.
Nursing skills required for excellent patient care
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are found in most hospitals and clinics. They provide care for patients who need medication or treatments that give them an advantage in the competition of the healthcare market. Nurses and NPs are both candidates for gaining an advanced nursing degree as a step towards a higher position in healthcare.
Although there are nurses who have attained the professional titles of a registered nurse (RN) or clinical nurse specialist, they still may not have full knowledge of the patient-centered care philosophy. Thus, they may fall short in today’s healthcare environment.
Learning patient care
When it comes to learning to provide excellent patient care, nurses need to ensure that they are working toward this goal. Doing advanced degrees such as one of the online nursing PhD programs gives nurses the skills and confidence to provide excellent patient care, but even new nurses can work towards this goal.
For instance, good nurses know they must complete certain objectives to ensure the safety and quality of patient care throughout their stay in the hospital or clinic. Some of these objectives are:
Handwashing: It is important for a nurse to wash their hands with soap and water before and after seeing each patient. This action helps prevent infection by bacteria that may cause an infection or become airborne particles that are taken up by the respiratory tract.
Gowning: Patients must be protected from environmental contaminants by always wearing a gown while changing the patient’s clothes or performing other tasks that involve potential contact with bodily fluids.
Gloving: Gloves worn by a nurse protect the patient and their caregivers from infectious diseases. Hand washing, gowning, and gloving should be done as a routine before interacting with a patient.
Eye protection: When taking care of patients who have undergone surgery or have certain conditions in their eyes, nurses must wear eye protection while they are in the process of providing care to them so as to prevent injury from blood splashes in their eyes.
Improving patient-centered care on the job
Patient-centered care is the main core value used in nursing to help patients achieve their goals. As a nurse, try to always be patient-centered because you have an understanding that your patients have unique needs and experiences.
That means you cannot be biased while taking care of them because they may present with symptoms or conditions unfamiliar to you. Your role as a nurse is to show them empathy and compassion while taking care of their medical problems. It is the same high standard you would expect of your family members if you go to them with personal issues.
Happy nurses provide better care
Whether you join a hospital or a clinical setting, understand that healthcare facilities evaluate many aspects of patient care. While providing patient-centered care, remember that patient satisfaction is one of the top factors for which patients will choose to stay with your facility.
Nurses who are happy and caring will go a long way in improving the quality of care they provide to their patients. Those who have illnesses can benefit from great treatment and a kind bedside manner.
Patient-centered care in the clinical setting
There are many different clinical environments, from an acute care unit to a medical/surgical ward, maternity ward, or long-term care unit. Whichever place you are, remind yourself that you are one of the top health professionals providing care to people.
That means it is your responsibility as a nurse to provide excellent patient-centered care so that people can achieve what they have set out to do. That is, either through their treatments or through their hospital stay.
Always look for ways to improve their skills so that you can deliver the best possible patient care throughout your nursing career. The most effective way to do so is by ensuring that you learn from your mistakes during training. That allows you to rehearse the process until it becomes second nature.
If you tend to make mistakes when in a degree training program for nursing, try doing it once, then stop, take note of what you did wrong and try again by doing it differently the next time. Practicing this method consistently will lead you towards perfection in the medical methods that you can take through the many years ahead on your nursing path.
2 thoughts on “How to practice patient-centered care as a nurse”
Great post, Christy. My sister has been a nurse for 50 years, and now she is partially retired but works as a home healthcare nurse, visiting patients in their homes. It’s been helpful having a nurse in our family. If it weren’t for my dad calling her when my mom didn’t feel good on that frightening day, Mom may not have survived that heart attack. Her symptoms were unusual. Instead, she had bypass surgery and lived another 15 years. So, I have the utmost respect for not only nurses, but all people in the medial field. xo
Thank you for sharing your family story, Lauren! All the best to you and your family x