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Patient-Centered Care

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Patient safety and quality service is the key objective in the nursing practice. Therefore, the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) is a crucial element of the nursing practice. The QSEN training enables student nurses to embrace teamwork and collaborate with other nurses to improve the quality of care by assisting and correcting each other where necessary. The QSEN outlines six key competencies in the nursing practice, including the patient-centered care, safety, informatics, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and teamwork and collaboration. This paper examines the patient-centered care competency, which is among the key competencies of QSEN that focus on patient safety and quality in nursing practice, its vitality in nursing education, practice, and research, and the role that the competency plays in improving the working environment in clinical settings.

The Patient-Centered Care Competency

Definition

Patient-centered care involves recognizing the patient as a partner and a source of control in the provision of coordinated and compassionate care that is based on the element of respecting the patient’s needs, values, and preferences (QSEN Institute, 2017). The knowledge dimensions associated with the patient-centered competency include information, communication, and education, transition and continuity, the involvement of family and friends, physical and emotional support, coordination and integration of care, and the patient, family, and community values and preferences. On the other hand, the patient-centered competency involves such skills as communicating patient values, needs, and preferences to the healthcare team, demonstrating respect and sensitivity to the diversity of human experience when providing patient care, and eliciting patient preferences, needs, and values as a crucial part of the clinical interview, evaluation of care, and the implementation of the care plan.

Finally, the attitudes involved in the patient-centered competency include valuing the patients’ expertise regarding their symptoms and health, examining the healthcare situations through the patient’s perspective, respecting and encouraging patients to express individual values, expressed needs, and patient preferences. Moreover, the attitudes include recognizing the attitudes that healthcare providers hold with regard to working with patients from diverse social, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, seeking learning opportunities with the patients representing diverse aspects of human diversity, and focusing on supporting patient-centered care for all groups and individuals irrespective of whether they hold different values.

Principles of the Patient-Centered Care Approach

In patient-centered care, the nurse practitioners and the nurse students cater for the patient’s medical needs in a way that the patient participates in the health care process by giving consent on some health procedures to be conducted on them depending on their cultural and personal beliefs (QSEN Institute, 2017). The family is also informed of the diagnosis and the health progress of the patient. Any medical decisions required are made by both the patient and the medical practitioner. For patient-centered care to be successful, there are eight principles that should be considered. The principles include respecting the patient’s preferences and expressed needs, coordination and integration of care, information and education, physical comfort, emotional support, continuity and transition, access to care and involving friends and family (Tucker, Arthur, Roncoroni, Wall & Sanchez, 2015). With the execution of these principles, the patient will be treated with respect and dignity, which in turn ensures the emotional wellbeing of the patient and hence a quick recovery.

Patient-Centered Competency and Nursing Education, Practice, and Research

Patient-centered competency is not only important in nursing practice but also in nursing education and research. A student nurse is impacted with the knowledge and skills that foster good communication skills for a good relationship with the patients. The knowledge enables student nurses to observe the patient’s rights and be sensitive to their needs and decisions (QSEN Institute, 2017). The student during practice has to lay out the medical procedure to be carried out on the patient after diagnosis. In cases of severe diseases like terminal cancer or HIV/AIDS, the patient needs to be offered emotional support by the nurse, and treatment should be carried out sensitively with the consent of the patient and the family members, and in relation to the patient’s beliefs. The health care provider should not impose the decision to be made, but he or she is required to give guidelines stating the merits and demerits of the suitable procedures. Once the patient is comfortable and feels safe, then recuperation is enhanced.

Patient-centered care in nursing is also essential in nursing research.  Most medical researches require respondents, whereby with proper communication between the patients and the nurses, patients can easily volunteer to participate in the research process. For patients to agree to participate in the research process, the patients must be assured of safety, their consent must be sought, and their personal values and cultural beliefs have to be considered. The collaboration between patients and their health care providers enhances accuracy because the patient is free to communicate the symptoms, the progress, and present their own views on crucial matters, such as the time of drug administration and their preferred mode of treatment (Tucker, Arthur, Roncoroni, Wall & Sanchez, 2015). Additionally, patients who make most of the healthcare decisions have been found to have better health outcomes because participating in the decision-making process offers emotional and physical comfort to the patients, which is a crucial element in the recovery process.

The Role of Patient-centered care on the working environment

Patient-centered care facilitates a friendly and safe working environment for the healthcare practitioners. Once the patient is confident that the health care providers are interested in his or her welfare and the patient is involved in the decision-making process, the patient gains trust, an element that helps in minimizing conflicts between the care providers and the patients, leading to better health outcomes (Sidani, 2014). Trust facilitates better communication of personal preferences and values of the patient, which in turn make the treatment process easier, faster, and smooth. A friendly environment between patients, the healthcare providers, and the patients’ friends and family members ensures unity and teamwork that is essential for achieving the targeted health outcomes and minimizing the cost of providing care.

Conclusion

Quality and Safety Education for Nurses is essential for healthcare providers because it provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes for delivery of quality services and ensuring the safety of patients. Among the six competencies in nursing practice, patient-centered care is the foundation of providing competent healthcare services. Patient-centered care allows patients to participate in the decision-making process regarding the most suitable procedures to be employed during the care provision, whereby the healthcare providers seek to incorporate the patients’ personal and cultural beliefs. Further, patient-centered care ensures that health practitioners treat patients with the respect and the dignity that they deserve. The required consent should be sort from the patient and the families before any changes on medical issues are made. Patient-centered care is paramount in medical research because it ensures that patients participate fully and genuinely in the research process due to the trust gained when the practitioners involve patients in the decision-making process. Finally, the patient-centered care competency promotes accuracy in the healthcare delivery process and promotes the creation of a friendly environment, which often translates to a suitable working environment with an effective communication system and transparency.

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