Healthcare and Quality: Perspectives from Nursing
February 5, 2020
Response by Celeste M. Schultz and colleagues to OJIN topic: “Healthcare and Quality: Perspectives from Nursing.” (September 30, 2013)
We are writing with regard to the OJIN topic, Healthcare and Quality: Perspectives from Nursing. Our question: “What is happening to healthcare?” Advances in science and technology have improved our understanding of bodily processes, the effect of medications and treatment, and the ability to communicate results quickly. We propose, however, that the “art” of caring for people is being lost. As nursing faculty striving to instill standards associated with high quality holistic care to future professional nurses, we are gravely concerned by what we are witnessing in the clinical setting. In our experiences, we witness healthcare providers (physicians, mid-level providers) and nurses pouring over laboratory, radiologic, and other diagnostic test results; yet, they have not “looked at” the patient. Moreover, we no longer “lay our hands” on the patient. We are [rightfully] trained to protect our patients and ourselves from transmitting illnesses by wearing gloves, but there is much to be said for the benefits of therapeutic touch. We also do not “talk to” the comatose, semi-comatose, developmentally delayed, or sedated patient on a ventilator before, during, and after a procedure. We also do not honor or incorporate the patient’s wishes when we discuss the patient’s clinical case at the bedside. Instead, we allege that we are protecting the patient’s privacy and confidentiality by using the recommended format of situation-background-assessment-recommendation.
We summit to the readers that delivery of healthcare and educating future health care members needs to be seriously reexamined from all levels. Healthcare is NOT only a science and practice, but also the ART of CARING FOR another human being – not a set of lab values, x-ray results, or ventilator settings, but a REAL PERSON who has a NAME. Healthcare is also not an algorithm or protocol to follow when delivering care. Algorithms and protocols are mere guidelines. Healthcare is developed and delivered through critical consideration of ALL aspects of the patient - social, emotional, familial, environmental, spiritual, and physiological. We, as nursing faculty have a professional responsibility to begin to address this deleterious situation. We can model the delivery of holistic patient care and advocate for patients in clinical settings, as well as teach students about adverse patient outcomes when care is not person-centered.
Celeste M. Schultz, PhD, RN-BC, CPNP-PC
Clinical Assistant Professor
Visiting Clinical Associate
UIC College of Nursing
Alisha Carter, MSN, RN
Visiting Teacher Associate
Catherine Leipold, MSN, RN, APRN-BC