Importance of Patient-Centered Care In Nursing

Patient-centered care is gaining significant traction within the nursing profession, and for good reason. Recent numbers indicate more than 60% of American patients received patient-centered care and appropriate emotional support from their care providers in 2022. A separate PubMed Central study adds that patient-centered care was linked with better patient recovery, improved emotional health, and fewer diagnostic tests.

This is because patient-centered care prioritizes individual patient needs, values, and preferences and fosters a more collaborative and empathetic relationship between patients and nursing care providers. By involving patients in care decisions and considering their preferences, nursing professionals can ensure they adhere to their treatment plans. When patients feel heard and respected, nurses can build a more positive and trusting nurse-patient relationship, ultimately resulting in better health outcomes.

It is, however, worth noting that patient-centered care is grounded on respect and responsiveness. Put simply, it focuses on the patient’s needs, instruction, values, emotional support, and physical comfort. This means nurses must learn holistic approaches that consider the patient’s physical, emotional, and social needs to initiate patient-centered care.

Types Of Holistic Approaches For Patient-Centered Care

Holistic care approaches encompass various methods that consider the patient’s overall well-being. These holistic nursing care approaches, taught in a pediatric NP program from leading academic institutions such as Baylor University, help nurses deliver patient-centered care. Using these approaches, nursing professionals can promote a more complete and balanced healing approach by addressing multiple health issues and considering the interconnected nature of physical, social, and emotional well-being. The pediatric nurse practitioner program at Baylor University can be completed almost entirely online, with some on-campus immersions throughout the program. The university also offers clinical placement support to ensure you can find the best placement to suit your needs and ambitions.

Holistic nursing care approaches also emphasize preventive measures and lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of illness and promote long-term health. Depending on the nurse, these holistic approaches often begin with a thorough evaluation of the patient’s physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being.

This allows nurses to understand the individual’s unique health needs and challenges. Doing so makes it easier for nurses to tailor care plans to the patient’s specific needs, circumstances, and preferences. When nurses can personalize care plans to a patient’s specific needs, they can create a more integrative, preventative, and patient-centered healthcare model that fosters balance and optimal health.

Integrated therapies to enhance traditional medical treatments

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies among nursing professionals is not new. According to PubMed Central, nearly two-thirds of American nurse practitioners use CAM therapies such as aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture, and herbal remedies to supplement and enhance traditional medical treatments. This is because integrated therapies can often involve patients actively participating in their care.

When patients are involved in their care, nurses can address the patient’s well-being on multiple levels and empower them to cope with the stress, depression, and anxiety of facing health challenges. Since integrated therapies help patients recognize that health is interconnected, nurses can gain a more holistic understanding of the individual and offer adequate pain management alternatives or complements to traditional medications.

Unlike traditional medications, integrated approaches address the underlying factors that contribute to a patient’s condition. This allows nursing professionals to target the crux of the issue, reduce repetitive treatments, promote more effective and sustainable outcomes, prevent disease progression, and encourage positive lifestyle changes. It also helps nurses facilitate timely diagnosis of conditions, enabling them to initiate immediate and appropriate interventions for optimal health and well-being.

One-on-one counseling and support groups for emotional support

Nursing counseling is crucial in providing patient-centered care by focusing on the patient’s experiences, preferences, and needs. Through effective one-on-one counseling, nurses can establish open and honest communication to build patient trust and rapport. Doing so increases the likelihood of the patient being more inclined to become upfront with their feelings and emotions while dealing with a health challenge.

Nursing counseling considers the whole individual—body, mind, and spirit. This comprehensive approach acknowledges that the patient’s overall health goes beyond the physical and is influenced by various factors such as relationships, self-care practices, family, finances, and occupation. Moreover, it provides patients with needed emotional support and addresses the psychological aspects of illness while promoting mental and emotional well-being.

Patients dealing with an illness can feel more than just the physical symptoms. They also deal with negative emotions such as anxiety, confusion, grief, loneliness, and fear. By offering one-on-one counseling, nurses can help patients deal with these difficult emotions and ensure they do not hinder their healing. Through emotional healing, nurses can encourage positive emotional and mental well-being, increasing the likelihood of quicker physical recovery from surgeries, illnesses, and medical treatments.

Cultural competence to consider the patient’s social needs 

Providing culturally competent care is another holistic care approach nurses use to deliver patient-centered treatment. After all, patient-centered care is not only concerned with the absence of disease. It also involves cultural awareness, inclusivity, and diversity. Through a culturally competent care approach, nursing professionals can reduce disparities and foster a supportive environment that ensures care is aligned with the patient’s societal and cultural backgrounds.

This is especially important in the United States, wherein health disparity has been a nagging issue for years. According to the Veterans Health Administration, Americans have different experiences in the healthcare system, even when they have similar medical conditions and health coverage. A significant reason is most healthcare providers cannot recognize the patient’s cultural differences, ultimately resulting in them delivering sub-par and low-quality healthcare.

Delivering culturally competent care empowers nursing professionals to eliminate the barriers that get in the way of patients receiving the care they need. Moreover, it helps nurses understand cultural contexts and address social health determinants such as systemic barriers and socioeconomic factors to ensure a more comprehensive, holistic, and patient-centered approach. For example, nurses may integrate traditional healing practices grounded in a patient’s specific culture whenever appropriate.

Achieving Patient-Centered Nursing Care Through Holistic Healing

Patient-centered nursing care is no longer a trendy phrase within nursing circles, especially with care being more collaborative and coordinated nowadays. By implementing diverse holistic healing approaches, nurses can restore patients’ balance and vitality while helping them foster a deeper understanding of themselves.