“My children’s names and ages change every day!” Ann laughs and hugs eight-month-old Nick. In a week, when Nick recovers, one and a half year old Simon will take his place. Then, he also will be replaced by nine-year-old Sarah.
Ann works as a nurse in a hospital. She takes care of the children who came here from orphanages. Doctors have no time to take babies in their arms, talk and play with them. If Ann hadn’t been here, the little ones would have been sitting alone in their beds all day long.
Ann’s work day starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. But even at home she thinks about her wards. She buys them small gifts, sweets, gives them clothes that were left after her granddaughter, and brings toys that her great-granddaughter no longer plays with.
“Having given the child a few minutes, telling him or her a story, or playing favorite game, a completely different person appears before my eyes. Now their eyes glow with happiness. Good mood is the key to a quick recovery,” Ann shared her thoughts.
This is a story about a holistic approach to caring. Nurses should provide comprehensive care, considering a person’s biological, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects. A nursing practice should embrace spirituality, which is the foundation of holistic care. This aspect of care is critical to the patient and care integrity. Working with patients, they must possess not only certain professional knowledge, but also the skills of communicating with the patient, especially since the success of treatment often depends on this. Within the holistic approach, professionalism depends on nurses’ spirituality, love for the profession, mercy, and compassion for people. Thus, caring is the foundation of nursing practice, on which the health and well-being of patients depend.
Caring as a Nursing Concept
Patient care involves taking measures to preserve and restore patients’ health, carefully monitoring the functions of all organs, preventing possible complications, and being sensitive to patients. While the doctor treats, the nurse takes care of the patients. Duffy (2018) highlights two areas in nursing practice – caring for healthy people and caring for sick people. Care of healthy people is the maintenance of a person in a state where the disease does not occur. In turn, caring for sick people is helping the suffering from illness to live the most fulfilling life that brings satisfaction. Thus, the content of nursing is to care for a person.
The Role of Caring
In modern healthcare, the leading place is occupied by nursing personnel, who provide most medical services to the population. According to Duffy (2018), nursing personnel is one of the strategic resources that is important in health promotion, disease prevention, and the provision of medical care at the primary level of medical services. The nurse’s role in patient care is extremely important, as they are responsible for the accurate and timely implementation of medical prescriptions. The nurse’s actions to strictly follow the doctor’s instructions, strictly observe the dietary, drinking, and hygiene regimes, and create favorable physical and psychological conditions can restore patients’ health. On the contrary, poor-quality care and careless attitude of nurses to their duties can not only delay the recovery of patients, but also aggravate the severity of their condition.
Personal Definition of Caring
The quality of patient care is inextricably linked with the results of the treatment of the disease and its prognosis. According to Kitson (2018), the patient should be the center of attention of all medical professionals. Thus, the best way to do a good job is to provide patients with care in the full sense of the concept. Nurses should give patients the same care that they would like to receive for themselves or that they would like to feel for their loved ones and friends. Moreover, it is important to consider the needs of patients and take a holistic approach in their profession.
Nurses must possess certain qualities to provide qualified patient care. They must be sociable, able to listen to patients, show interest and empathy for their condition, possess knowledge, gain the trust of the patient and collect the necessary data to compile a complete medical history. The technical skills are manifested in the ability to use medical equipment and carry out the necessary procedures. The nurse must also have such intellectual skills as making decisions and correctly assessing the critical situation in patient care.
Principles of Holistic Care
Holistic caring involves helping the patient deal with the reflection of illness in emotions, values, communication, and personal relationships. Frisch and Rabinowitsch (2019) argue that applying a holistic approach to palliative care establishes an ideal approach to caring for the individual, not just the physical body and suffering. The nurse must be informed, aware of, and able to deal with the problems of patients and their families. A holistic approach to patient care also includes considering social and cultural differences and preferences. It is a method of ensuring that a person’s personality is taken care of. Thus, holistic nursing care is applied to each person individually. The nurse can use the shortest possible time to communicate with each patient. In the treatment of patients, it is necessary to promote the psychological and emotional well-being of the patient to facilitate the holistic treatment process.
Therefore, in this assessment, it was determined what place in nursing practice occupies the care of patients. It was found that this is the basis of the activities of nurses since the health of patients depends on the quality of care. In addition to technical skills and intellectual abilities, nurses must be able to interact with patients and their families on a spiritual level, and help not only with deeds but also with words. A holistic approach to patient care is one of the reasons for the success of general care.
Duffy, J. R. (2018). Quality caring in nursing and health systems: Implications for clinicians, educators, and leaders. Springer Publishing Company.
Frisch, N. C., & Rabinowitsch, D. (2019). What’s in a definition? Holistic nursing, integrative health care, and integrative nursing: Report of an integrated literature review. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 37(3), 260-272.
Kitson, A. L. (2018). The fundamentals of care framework as a point-of-care nursing theory. Nursing Research, 67(2), 99-107.