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Posted: September 6th, 2023

How Nurses Can Improve the Illness Experience

Essay
Assessment Task 2 is a 2000 word essay.

The task requires you to draw on your learning over the semester about your role as a nurse within the illness experience and the effect you have on those in your care. A significant component of this assessment, requires you to explore strategies that you will employ to improve the illness experience of those for whom you provide care and their families.

A good starting point is to ask yourself the following questions:

How do I currently provide care? Describe the care, provide an analysis, evaluate what you do. This requires you to reflect, you need to dig deep.
How do the unit themes fit with my experiences?
How does the environment in which I provide care impact patients experiences? Does the physical, social or political environment affect care?
What strategies can I put in place to improve the patient experience? (not nurses, management, medical staff experiences – patient and family experiences)

Assessment Task 2 Rubric
Please read the AT2 Rubric for this assessment task carefully.

FAQ’s
I work part-time in community palliative care and part-time on a medical ward – which professional perspective/context should I focus on?

You can select either, but if you work in more than one professional context, just select one.

I am not sure what you mean by the physical, social and political environment, can you give me an example of each?

Absolutely. In terms of the physical environment, this may reflect the design/layout of a ward – is your environment conducive to providing an excellent experience -is there natural light, are the rooms so small that privacy and dignity are hard to achieve? Are the bathrooms across the corridor? In an outpatient setting, are the chairs so close together, private communication is impossible?

The social environment, is really about the culture. Is turnover so high that you feel you work in a factory? Do patients feel the pressure to get ‘in and out’? Are visiting hours restricted because it makes life easier for staff? You can have two medical wards side by side and the culture of each can be completely different – often this is determined by the ward/unit leadership.

The political environment refers to the external pressures we may face, for example bed block and bed pressure, discharge pressures, meeting KPI’s and other output measures.

Are references included in the word count?

No, in-text references, direct quotes and your reference list are not included in the word count.

Does the plus/minus 10% rule apply to the word count?

Yes, it does. You can go 10% under or over the word count.

Should I write in the first or third person?

Please write your essay in the first person.

_________________

How Nurses Can Improve the Illness Experience

As a nurse, I have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of those who are ill. I can provide comfort, support, and education, and I can help patients and their families cope with the challenges of illness. I can also advocate for patients and ensure that they receive the care they need.

I believe that the most important thing I can do for patients is to listen to them. I want to know what they are going through, both physically and emotionally. I want to understand their fears and concerns, and I want to help them find ways to cope. I also want to help them make informed decisions about their care.

I believe that patient-centered care is essential for improving the illness experience. This means putting the patient at the center of care and making sure that their needs are met. It also means respecting the patient’s preferences and choices.

There are many ways that nurses can improve the illness experience. Some of the things I do include:

Providing emotional support: I listen to patients and their families, and I offer them emotional support. I let them know that they are not alone, and I help them to cope with the challenges of illness.
Providing education: I educate patients and their families about their condition, their treatment options, and how to manage their care. I also provide them with resources and support so that they can make informed decisions about their care.
Advocating for patients: I advocate for patients and their families to ensure that they receive the care they need. I work with other healthcare professionals to ensure that patients’ needs are met, and I fight for patients’ rights.

I believe that by providing patient-centered care, nurses can make a real difference in the lives of those who are ill. I am committed to providing the best possible care to my patients, and I am always looking for ways to improve the illness experience.

How the Environment Impacts the Illness Experience

The environment in which care is provided can have a significant impact on the illness experience. A positive environment can help patients feel more comfortable and supported, while a negative environment can make the illness experience more challenging.

Some of the factors that can impact the illness experience include:

The physical environment: The physical environment should be clean, comfortable, and well-lit. It should also be private and secure, so that patients can feel safe and respected.
The social environment: The social environment should be supportive and welcoming. Patients should feel like they are part of a community, and they should have access to resources and support.
The political environment: The political environment can impact the illness experience in a number of ways. For example, bed block and bed pressure can lead to delays in treatment, and discharge pressures can make it difficult for patients to get the care they need at home.

Nurses can play a role in improving the illness experience by creating a positive environment. This can be done by making sure that the physical environment is clean, comfortable, and well-lit. It can also be done by creating a supportive social environment where patients feel like they are part of a community. Finally, nurses can advocate for patients and their families to ensure that they receive the care they need in a timely manner.

Strategies for Improving the Illness Experience

There are a number of strategies that can be used to improve the illness experience. Some of these strategies include:

Providing patient-centered care: Patient-centered care is essential for improving the illness experience. This means putting the patient at the center of care and making sure that their needs are met. It also means respecting the patient’s preferences and choices.
Creating a positive environment: The environment in which care is provided can have a significant impact on the illness experience. A positive environment can help patients feel more comfortable and supported, while a negative environment can make the illness experience more challenging.
Providing education: Education is essential for helping patients and their families cope with the challenges of illness. Nurses can provide education about the patient’s condition, their treatment options, and how to manage their care.
Advocating for patients: Nurses can play a vital role in advocating for patients and their families. This includes ensuring that patients receive the care they need in a timely manner, and that their rights are respected.

By implementing these strategies, nurses can make a real difference in the lives of those who are ill. They can help to improve the illness experience and make it a more positive and supportive time for patients and their families.

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