Nursing is an interdisciplinary subject combining art and science. Science explains the medical interventions for disease prevention and health promotion, whereas art explains the empathetic connection with patients. Nursing care is imperative for consistent positive health outcomes and patient experiences. This blog attempts to cover various facets of nursing care that contribute to positive patient experiences.
Nursing care is a specialized medical care requiring support from trained nurses to meet health care needs. This type of care is complex, includes therapy and medical treatments or taking any action on behalf of them to improve health outcomes. It is based on the patient-centred care philosophy of “head, hands, and heart,” integrating technical and practical knowledge of medical complexities while respecting the patient’s dignity.
Some nursing care services are non-medical, like the personal care needs of a patient, or assistance in mild exercises, and walking. Generally, home healthcare aides provide such custodial care under the supervision of a trained nurse
Nursing care is based on a plan of action about the goals of treatments which can be:
- Direct: Performed without a physician's order like personal or hygiene care or repositioning a patient
- Indirect: Performed under standing physician protocols like medication administration, wound care, etc.
- Intermediary: Requires both physicians' orders and nurse’s supervision. Generally provided to patients with acute medical, surgical, and cardiac conditions, usually the elderly, after leaving a hospital or when they are at risk of being sent to the hospital.
Why nursing care plan is important?
A nursing care plan is a road map of care for a patient for disease prevention and health promotion. It includes every detail of the patient—from the initial patient assessment and diagnosis, treatment goals, ways to achieve them, and an evaluation of the expected results. In short, it is a plan of action for nurses to deliver focused and attentive care.
Nursing care plans are the fundamental aspects of nursing care that help provide an optimal health outcome and a better patient experience. The following points will help you understand why a nursing care plan is necessary for addressing the holistic needs of the patient:
- Captures all the vital patient information and is stored in a centralized manner so that it becomes readily accessible to the nursing staff
- Identifies the current needs of the patient and the potential risks or concerns, which then becomes a vital document in the hour of crisis
- Ensures there are no missing links in care for the nursing staff who often deal with multiple cases at a time
- Fosters collaboration among the nursing staff, the patients, and other healthcare providers to achieve the desired healthcare outcomes
- Defines the guidelines of care, educates the family and the caregivers about proper patient care
What are the benefits of home care nursing?
Receiving professional medical care in familiar surroundings is considered the best form of care. Studies show that home care nursing helps in faster recovery and symptom control in complex health conditions. The other benefits of home care nursing include:
Customized Care: The best thing about home care nursing is that it gives the space for customizing care as per the patient’s comfort and needs—hourly assisted care or more critical round-the-clock care.
One-on-one medical care: A one-on-one care plan is developed and tailored to suit the patient’s daily lifestyle. Patients get undivided medical attention which means more dedicated care and faster recovery.
Supports activities of daily living: Helps improve quality of life by supporting day-to-day activities with respect to personal hygiene and also respecting the dignity of patients, which could otherwise be overwhelming for the family. From bathing, grooming, toilet functions, walking, and moderate exercises, etc., caregivers can help a person remain self-sufficient with little help.
Familiar surroundings provide comfort: Familiar surroundings and familiar people help comfort dementia patients and make them feel secure. This is an important requirement and the lack of which can potentially affect their memory and mood.
It's less expensive: Home care nursing incurs no additional cost for allied services like room rent, electricity, food, etc., and hence it is an economic option. Even if one considers setting up a virtual hospital unit at home with all the required medical equipment, the multiple benefits of home care nursing can outweigh its cost.
Ideal and Safe for the Elderly: One of the best benefits of home care nursing is for the elderly. It can assist them in their daily living activities, medical conditions, diet, and nutrition and give them emotional care and support. This, in turn, helps them maintain their independence and quality of life. Given the trend of Covid-19 variants and other communicable diseases, it is the safest form of care for the elderly, a segment of the population that is extremely vulnerable to catch the infection.
What is geriatric nursing care?
Gerontology, or geriatric nursing care is the specialized branch of science in eldercare. Ever since, the term “geriatrics” was conceptualized in the 1940-s, it has come a long way in providing holistic care for the elderly.
Today, geriatric nursing care focuses on delivering high-quality care to the elderly to improve their health, quality of life, and independence. Beyond the physiological needs that come with aging, it addresses psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual needs of an aging individual.
Geriatric nursing care is more important today in India than ever before, asat about 140 million, India has the second-largest elderly population in the world. It is projected to increase to 323 million by 2050. Age-related problems like falls, frailty, dementia and multi-morbidity represent a Herculean challenge for the healthcare system. Given the constantly changing lifestyles of the younger and the elder population, Preventive care, rather than curative, has to lead the way forward.
What is the role of a geriatric nurse?
Geriatric nurses work with doctors and other healthcare professionals to create care plans and goals concerning an elder’s health. They understand the aging process well and are trained to take care of the often complex physical and mental health needs of the elderly. The role of a geriatric nurse includes the following:
- Establish care guidelines for chronic conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease)
- Understand the elder’s mental health and other related issues such as insomnia, stress, anxiety
- Administer medications
- Perform routine check-up and screenings
- Assist with daily hygiene activities like bathing, grooming, and toileting
- Supporting physical and occupational therapy
- Evaluation of care plans to check the progress
What is postoperative nursing care?
As the name suggests, postoperative nursing care is the care that follows a surgery. It includes immediate care after the operation, both in the operating room and post-anaesthesia care unit (PACU), plus the care that continues at home after getting discharged. The extent and intensity of postoperative nursing care usually depends on the type of surgery that the patient has undergone.
The goal of postoperative nursing care is to ensure the healing of the surgical wound without complications or infection and adequate pain management.
Benefits of Postoperative nursing care to the surgeon:
- Reduces risk of postoperative complications
- Cuts down unnecessary patient visits to the hospital
- Positive surgical and overall patient experience
Benefits of Postoperative nursing care to the patient:
- Pain management
- Surgery wound healing and infection control
- Reduces the further need for hospitalization and the financial burden
- Psychological support after a surgery
Depending on each individual patient’s needs, the following Postoperative nursing care services are provided:
- 12-24 hours of home nursing care services by experienced nurses
- Equipment (may include Ventilator, monitor, hospital bed, etc.)
What are the levels of nursing home care?
Home healthcare has changed dramatically over the past several decades. Initially seen as a requirement for the elderly, it now extends to anyone recovering from injuries or illnesses and needs rehabilitation, or has a long-term chronic health condition. Let’s explore the different levels of nursing home care based on the patient’s unique needs.
Skilled Nursing: Skilled Nursing refers to a patient’s need for 24-hour care and supervision provided by a licensed nurse in an assisted living or home setting. It involves postoperative care, wound care, intravenous injections, monitoring of vital signs, therapy sessions, personal care, and managing other health concerns. It’s often an economic alternative to a hospital stay.
Rehabilitation Care: Nursing home care is provided to improve the functional performance of a patient recently discharged from a hospital. Generally, the level of nursing home care includes physical, occupational, or speech therapy to help with the recovery.
Memory Care: Memory care is designed specifically for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. It is the best long-term nursing home care for the elderly, often with other health issues, requiring a higher level of support and a safe environment.
Assisted Living: Assisted living is designed especially for the elderly who need less intensive medical care but still need assistance for basic needs such as bathing, dressing, housekeeping, monitoring of medication, etc. Members live in private or semi-private apartments with shared amenities like dining to help them socialize and maintain independence.
Residential Living: Also known as “Care Homes,” which are equipped and staffed to provide care to no more than 10 residents. The level of nursing home care required is restricted to grooming and hygiene, cooked meals, and round-the-clock assistance with less scope for medical care
What is critical care nursing?
Critical care nursing is a specialized area of nursing that delivers constant care and monitoring to patients who are either recovering from a critical health condition or have life-limiting illnesses or injuries. The term “critical” indicates the severity of a patient’s condition. From assessing the patient’s condition to developing care plans and goals, critical care nursing is an integral part of the overall treatments and actions.
Besides technical skills and knowledge, critical care nursing requires patience and empathy to act with compassion to stabilize emergency situations.
What is an ICU nurse?
Since the work generally involves assisting critically ill patients in the ICU unit of a hospital, a critical care nurse is also known as an ICU Nurse. An ICU nurse works in coherence with a team of specialty doctors, other nurses, and allied health care professionals. Since the patients they care for have critical needs, they have dynamic responsibilities like problem-solving and making quick decisions. These are to:
- Assess the patient’s condition and develop an appropriate plan
- Diagnose illnesses or injuries
- Record and monitor vital signs—BP, temperature, heart rate, etc.
- Wound cleaning and bandaging
- Administering injections and medications
- Checking patient’s response to the care
- Collaborating with doctors and other nurses
- Establishing care guidelines and educating the family about the patient’s condition
- Comfort patients and families
Why choose critical care nursing?
The hard work and passion of critical care nursing always has an impact on a patient’s family in moments of crisis. Psychological support to the grieving family is a one-of-a-kind benefit. The other benefits of getting critical care nursing at home are as follows:
- Best medical attention and dignified care to keep the patient stable and comfortable in case of ICU care, postoperative care, or chemotherapy
- Setting up and monitoring medical equipment devices like ventilators, cardiac monitors, etc. Additionally, one can have access to the latest medical equipment
- Experienced nurses who work alongside veteran professionals to make split-second decisions and act quickly in emergencies
- In a critical care nursing setting, nurses provide care to 1-2 patients at a time, which means more dedicated time for each patient
- It costs less than regular ICU care nursing at hospitals
What is home nursing care for dementia patients?
Home care nursing is a preventive model of dementia nursing care designed to keep the patient longer at home and improve their quality of life. Since it is a progressive health condition, caregivers can best understand the disease progression to create a list of their needs and address adjustments most impactful in the home environment.
Research shows that in-home dementia nursing care canreduce the effects and symptoms of dementia. In many cases, patients have been able to live happier and longer. The familiarity of home and the ability to maintain independence is the key takeaway of in-home dementia nursing care. That is why experts in this domain often recommend in-home care for patients through the end of life. Dementia nursing care can help with,
- Medication reminders
- Physiotherapy and nutrition support
- Assistance in daily hygiene tasks
- Encouraging participation in activities that stimulate brain functions
- Addressing Home environment safety concerns
In-home care for dementia patients is most impactful if introduced at an early stage. But at any given time, an elderly may have other health issues that could complicate dementia nursing care. Moreover, every condition is unique, and caring at home may not be impractical, particularly in the advanced stages of the disease. Families can choose between nursing homes or senior homes for dementia patients for a higher level of skilled care and supervision.
What is the need for home nursing care to patients with Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that affects a person’s memory, thoughts, and behaviour. Symptoms worsen with time, affecting their ability to do daily tasks or communicate properly. Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient requires a certain intensity and can be overwhelming-both physically and emotionally. Involving a palliative care home nurse can help improve their quality of life and their families.
Studies show that early-onset of palliative care can positively affect clinical outcomes. The various benefits of a palliative care home nursein such a situation are as follows:
- Better understanding of their patients’ needs to make them feel more comfortable by establishing a constant daily routine
- Expertise in dealing with depression, stress, anxiety, or sleeping problem by ensuring the need for a calm environment, proper lighting, and good sleep habits
- Educating the family about the disease progression which may trigger behavioural symptoms
- Helps to participate in physical exercises or memory therapy to help stimulate brain functions
- Helps in pain management and symptom relief for those with other health complications‒cancer, lung disease, or heart disease
- Provides an extra layer of support to the patient and their families in addition to the ongoing curative treatments
- During the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, a palliative care home nurse primarily focuses on providing comfort.
What are palliative care home nursing services?
Relocating to a new place for care in the advanced years of life can be traumatic or emotionally distressing. A palliative care home nurse is mindful of delivering a care plan that respects individual wishes and preferences.
Palliative care involves managing pain and other symptoms while providing emotional, spiritual, and psychological support to the patient and their families. The focus is to help the patient live a good quality life while maintaining independence. The palliative care home nurse services may vary depending on patients' needs but generally include:
- Managing pain and other distressing symptoms like nausea, breathing difficulty, sleeping problem, etc.
- Task-orientated aspects of caring for someone, like bathing, grooming, or other forms of personal care like exercise or activities that promote self-esteem and well-being
- Administering all medications proactively and efficiently
- Guidance and support on feeding tubes, ventilation, wound care, incontinence care, or even ensuring safe movement around the home
- Supporting occupational therapy, physiotherapy, or massage therapy for those who are in need
- Counselling and emotional support to patients and families
The sooner the palliative care home nurse can be introduced, the better they can address the holistic needs and respect the patient’s wishes and preferences.
How much does it cost for a nursing home care?
In India, nursing home care cost varies with the type of nursing service required and the location. Nonetheless, it’s more pocket-friendly vis-a-vis a regular nursing home cost. And beyond the monetary aspect, the emotional component of being at home and cared for is priceless.
A personalized in-home care service where you get the liberty to pay by hourly needs for the services can address the cost concern to a great extent.
Why choose Senocare?
When it comes to personalized eldercare home services and home care nursing, Senocareis a trusted name for families in Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida. At the heart of our exemplary services is our goal to enabling the elderly to live independently in the comfort of their home with an improved quality of life. Our dedicated Care Managers familiarise themselves with your loved one’s needs, preferences, likes, and dislikes to help them achieve improved health and well-being. Call us at +91 8800 003 046 or email us at [email protected] for more details on our care packages and customized care plans.