Patient-centered care allows healthcare professionals to turn patients into active partners. This healthcare approach empowers patients to be in control of their own healthcare journey. When patients are active in their care, they feel empowered, and this results in better outcomes. Patient-centered care also improves the health of the patients, honors the preferences of patients, and reduces unnecessary procedures. Healthcare professionals can build personalized care strategies and build trust with their patients. Nursing professionals can play a crucial role in delivering patient-centered care.
Understanding patient-centered care
If you are planning to enroll in a nursing school, it is important to have a clear understanding of what patient-centered care is. In the healthcare industry, patient-centered care refers to prioritizing the needs and wants of patients and respecting their preferences and values. Patients are active players in their care and healthcare providers build rapport with their patients. This trusting relationship allows healthcare professionals to understand their patients and their mental as well as physical states. When nurses approach their patients in a holistic way, they can provide and deliver care plans that truly align with the values of the individuals. This helps them ensure that patients are comfortable with treatment plans and that they will follow the directions accurately.
The key principles
Healthcare organizations interested in transitioning to patient-centered care need to follow a few key principles to deliver effective, quality care to their patients. Here are the key principles of patient-centered care.
- Respecting patients
For nurses, it is important to know their patients and respect their unique qualities. Patients have their own perspectives, boundaries, beliefs, and personal values. It is important for nursing professionals to recognize these and take them into consideration when creating a care plan.
- Treating patients with dignity
Nursing professionals should communicate with their patients respectfully, take their inputs into consideration, and listen to them attentively. They should also strive to always maintain the dignity of their patients.
- Understanding patients’ goals
To create a care plan that is successful, it is important to take into consideration the patient’s future goals, current state, and life experience. Gaining a deeper understanding of patients helps nurses create a customized care plan.
- Maintaining confidentiality
The confidentiality of patients and their personal information must always be maintained. This is important to build trust with patients and ensure their well-being. This principle can be put into action by consulting the patient about what information they prefer to be kept confidential and what should be shared with family and friends.
Benefits of patient-centered care
Adopting patient-centered care has many benefits for professionals as well as patients. Here are the top benefits of this approach:
- When patients have a tailored care plan, they are more likely to follow it.
- Patient-centered care helps patients work toward their health goals so they can reach milestones.
- Patient-centered care improves care quality and helps speed up patient recovery.
- Patients feel positive and comfortable about their care, creating a better environment for the professional and patient.
- Giving patients responsibility can make them feel motivated. It also encourages independence.
- This approach meets the medical, social, personal, and emotional needs of patients.
- Care quality improves and patients tend to be more cooperative when plans are personalized. This helps create time- and cost-efficient services.
- When patients are involved in making decisions about their care, they are interested in recovery and more likely to comply even after they return home.
Foundational skills needed for patient-centered care
If you are an aspiring nurse, it is important to develop and refine certain foundational skills that will help you deliver quality care to your patients. Accelerated nursing programs online like the ones offered by Baylor University will help you develop these skills and approach each case through the key principles discussed above. You can help patients navigate their health challenges with respect and dignity and will encourage them to provide inputs in their own care process. Here are some of the most important skills you will need for delivering patient-centered care.
- Effective communication
Nurses have to communicate with an interdisciplinary medical team, patients, and family members on a daily basis. It is important to learn how to listen actively to your patients and take the time to understand their concerns. You will need solid communication skills to encourage patients to share their inputs about their own care. You will also need strong communication skills to clearly articulate diagnoses and treatment plans for patients to ensure they understand what they need to do. You must also professionally communicate with other nurses and doctors to discuss care plans.
- Critical thinking
Critical thinking is a crucial skill that all nursing professionals must refine. For nurses, every day on the job is different. They encounter new symptoms, new conditions, and patients every day. Health conditions can change quickly, and patients may change their preferences for treatments. Nurses must be able to think quickly and change their approach when needed so they can put the needs of their patients first.
- Attention to detail
It is important for nurses to be detail-oriented because small mistakes can sometimes lead to grave consequences in healthcare. Nurses should also be very perceptive to pick up some of the smallest details about their patients like allergies or minor symptoms. They should be willing to ask questions and then incorporate those details when creating care plans for their patients.
- Adaptability and flexibility
Every day is different for nurses so they must be capable of adapting quickly to changing circumstances. When delivering patient-centered care, it is even more important for nurses to be flexible in their approach. In many situations, the preferences of patients may be completely different from their own viewpoint. Nurses must be willing to consider the opinions of their patients and must welcome their input.
- Willingness to learn
One of the most important skills for patient-centered care is the wiliness to learn. The healthcare industry is constantly changing with new treatments and new technology introduced at rapid speed. To stay current, nurses have to be committed to continued learning.