A Nurse’s Guide to Patient-Centered Care

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nurse uses stethoscope on young child while mother watchersAdvancing your career in a patient-centered care environment allows you to share what you know best about the nursing profession. After all, the concepts of caring, collaboration, and excellence are already part of your repertoire.

But what exactly is patient-centered care, and how is it useful in the medical field? Below, we’ll outline some of guiding principles and benefits of this approach to the nursing profession.

Dignified Healing

Personalized patient care reinforces the importance of dignity and respect in the healing environment. This can include preferences related to spiritual beliefs, personal values, or cultural traditions, as well as simple requests for greater comfort and understanding.

Many hospitals have invested in healing gardens, music therapy, sources of natural light, pet therapy programs, and other elements that create more soothing surroundings for patients and families. Your role as a nurse is at the heart of patient-centered care, where compassion and clinical excellence intersect.

Patient Knowledge and Education

A core tenet of patient-centered care is treating the patient and their family members (and/or designated friends) as partners in care delivery. This means sharing clinical knowledge and findings in a way that is conducive to understanding and decision-making.

Family involvement is particularly important when a patient is in great pain or fearful of their circumstance, as well as when they are being discharged or moved to another facility. Patient safety is the most critical component of quality care and must be paramount in all decisions regarding treatment planning and delivery. Your clinical knowledge and patient care experience are vital in ensuring accurate understanding and action.

Collaboration and Teamwork

Hospitals that truly embrace patient-centered care encourage employees to always keep the patient in mind first, even if the employee is not in a direct care role. The premise is that if employees understand the importance of their role in the overall delivery of quality care — be it housekeeping, security, billing, or food service — they will perform at a higher standard. Hospitals that are successful in creating this sort of team-driven, patient-first workplace tend to achieve a higher quality and satisfaction rate in national surveys and other measures.

The proper online nurse practitioner program for your needs will be one that shares your philosophies on patient-centered care, your values as a healthcare professional, and your understanding of what it means to be a nurse. You will know the right match when you find it.


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San Antonio Express-News, “Less than 6 percent of doctors are Latino”

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). “Racial/Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Health Care Use and Access”