The nursing theory that guides patient care in my practice setting is Boykin & Schoenhofer’s theory of Nursing as Caring, A Model for Transforming Practice. This theory proposes that all people are caring and that caring is a process. In nursing, we experience nursing situations which are shared experiences that require caring from not only the nurse, but also from the friends and family of the patient. This type of caring enhances the nurse and patient relationship. It is instinctive for all of us to want to care for others and it is up to nurses to find the best methods for doing so.
Our model in home health is to bring patient back to either their prior functional status or an improved status, and we achieve this by our caring and our patient centered care. By teaching patients things like how to take care of a wound, perform infusion therapy in the home to keep patient out of the hospital or how to use a glucose machine to check and document blood sugars, we collaborate with our patients and their caregivers to achieve these goals. Part of this caring theory is incorporating patients and their loved ones in the care using evidence based practice. Caring is one of our Duke nursing values and caring is seen in our patient care delivery and extends to our patient’s loved ones and each other. The concept of caring is that once you as the nurse takes care of yourself by eating right, sleeping right, knowing when to take a break and supporting each other as nurses, that translates into how you care for your patients and their loved ones.
We continue this caring concept with our commitment to learning, improving processes and using evidence based practice in our practice. We collaborate with patients, their loved ones and other team members to provide the best possible outcome for the patient by improving communication and by using the SBAR (Situation, Assessment and Response) to communicate with other health care team providers. Part of our caring is seen in the empathy we demonstrate to our patients be it in home health or hospice, through comfort care, addressing the patient and caregiver’s physical, emotional and spiritual health, or developing relationships with our patients and their families. Part of that caring translates into continued growth and learning to improve our nursing practice. Our nurses are experts in their fields and they demonstrate this by continued education, certifications in the home health and hospice field and ongoing education.
We are patient advocates by supporting patient needs, and changes in our practice and the nursing profession through engaging in active dialogue and partnership with the patient, their loved ones, and each other. We practice shared governance, promote healing and safe care environments for all persons, and honor our patients’ beliefs and values to support their healing, or dying wish as we contribute to decisions which affect patients and the organization.
Our nurses continue this caring model through their professional appearance as Duke Nurses in home health. Our nurses mentor students and new nurses to promote professional growth in our practice. We also use technology to improve patient care and outcomes for our patients. This is why I think we have such a good professional practice model at Duke.