Nursing Model of Healthcare

Nursing models, by definition is, “systematically constructed, scientifically based, and logically related set of concepts, which identify the essential components of nursing practice and provide a cohesive and systematic approach to the patient.” (Riehl & Roy 1980)

Prior to 1960, the medical model of nursing health care was followed. That is to say, the medical model deals with treating the disease, which is a scientific approach and all patients with the same illness, are treated with the same form of treatment, irrespective of their socio-physio-psychological background.

The second half of the twentieth century witnessed massive changes in the nursing health care patterns. The nursing model of treatment replaced the medical model. This model basically instructs how to care for the patient with the disease, rather than the disease alone. Various factors like social upbringing, physiological conditions of the patient, mental well being, general health and even religious beliefs are taken into account to assess the best form of treatment.

There have been controversies about the nursing model where critics claim that the Registered Nurses seem to take control over a patient’s treatment, rather than the trained Medical Specialist (be it physician / cardiologist / medical practitioner) being in control. However, a balance of both, the medical model and nursing model is most ideal, theoretically, in view of the best form of treatment medicine can offer a patient.

The nursing model essentially has four core components.

A ) The person

Essentially, this component takes into account the biological and mental status of the patient, viz. the gender of the patient, activities of daily living, genetic make-up ,mental health – healthy, impaired or damaged, intellect, attitudes, effect of illness- stress, fears, memories, emotional support., family, work, recreation, social habits and religious beliefs.

B) The environment

Home, neighbours, neighbourhood, work, travel, socializing

C ) Health

The complete state of sociological, physical and psychological well being

D ) Nursing

“The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or recovery (or to a peaceful death) that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge, and to do this in such a way as to gain independence as rapidly as possible” Henderson V (1966)

Nursing care is not an independent function. It is dependent on the individual nurse interacting with the patient assisted by the ward team and supervised by the head nurse or matron. It is an assimilation of care giving ideas reaching out to the patient in the form of nursing health care. Best results are seen when the patient cooperates with the nursing staff by being open and honest about details. It helps the Nursing professionals understand a patient better, thereby increasing the chances of even better health care.

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