Nursing is a very delicate and critical profession that calls for a lot of devotion. It is quite a complex and a wide discipline which covers various disciplines (White, 2000). Nursing is simply described as taking care of communities or individuals and helping them to achieve and maintain the required level of health. When a nurse is taking care of an ailing patient, there are various things the nurse has to understand about the patient. These help to determine the nature of the ailment, care and other things that the patient might need. A nurse would therefore strive to establish the background of the patient she is taking care of (Faulkner, 1996).
This paper is a case study of a patient under my care who is under treatment for injuries sustained in a recent accident. The patient is also hypertensive and he had not been receiving his medication for this condition for a few days before the accident. Information has been given about the patient such as the occupation, family background, medical history and the character of the patient. Throughout this paper, an illustration of how the background information of a patient can impact on his or her healing will be shown. The behavior to be expected of a patient and how this behavior impacts on nursing will also be discussed. Effects of sickness on the family setting will be discussed. This will be done through answering some questions about the patient based on the background information of the patient.
There are various stages of illness in a person. The first stage is the stage in which the patient recognizes that there is something wrong (Watson, 2008). At this point, the patient can recognize that there is something wrong with his or her body. This might be through various signs and symptoms as well as poor functioning of the body. Mr. Jones is past this stage because he is already under medical care which means that he discovered his symptoms or poor functioning. The second stage is the assumption of the sick people where the patient seeks to be excluded from normal duties and routine.
The third stage is where the patient contacts medical care by either visiting the hospital or purchasing some medication. The patient first seeks confirmation by a health care expert through diagnoses and then treatment. The fourth stage is the stage at which the patient depends on medical care experts. At this stage, the patient depends on the support and sympathy of medical care professionals, family members and also friends (Carpenito- Moyet, 2007). The last stage is recovery and rehabilitation which entails adjusting to the life after the illness. This stage happens when there is a permanent change in the life of the patient as a result of the illness.
According to the description of the above stages, Mr. Jones is at the fourth stage. The patient has already recognized that he is sick, assumed sickness and contacted medical care experts. The patient is now under medical care and he relies most on the professional care given by the nurse. He also relies on moral support and encouragement from family members and friends.
From the cultural background of Mr. Jones, I think he will exhibit peculiar behavior while at the hospital. He will not be cooperative while in the hospital and he might even go to the extend of refusing medicine. I don’t expect Mr. Jones to tell me when he has pain and also to tell me the truth about his condition. This is due to several factors from his cultural background. The first factor is that the patient does not have a good family background because he has been living away from his family. This means that he is not used to cooperating with other people in times of crises.
Another factor that would contribute to the non- cooperative behavior of the client is his past medical record. Mr. Jones is hypertensive and he has not been serious with taking his medication. This could be an indication that the patient is resigned about his health (White, 2000). It seems that the patient has given up on the possibility of leading a normal life again. With hypertension and the injuries due to motor car accident, the resigned nature of the patient is not expected to get any better. Another factor is that Mr. Jones is likely to be under much pain and this may make him weak to a point where he does not have the energy to cooperate with the nurse. The fact that Mr. Jones is not a firm believer should not be left out of the explanation to his potential uncooperativeness.
Anxiety in medical terms is described as an uneasy feeling that causes an action that had not been well considered (Bilyeu, Gumm & Stillwell, 2007). It is a serious issue especially to patients with chronic illnesses. Some of the signs of anxiety in a patient are restlessness, poor or lack of eye contact, uncalled for movements of body parts, fidgeting and lack of sleep among others. Anxiety results to increased feeling of helplessness and fear. It is a serious condition and must be addressed well.
Mr. Jones has a chronic hypertension ailment which when summed with the fresh injuries will generate more anxiety. This illness is likely to increase the anxiety level on the patient. The patient is also young and his family is young. The financial status of the family is not so good and Mr. Jones is the active provider for the family. Since the illness is likely to limit his chances of survival, Mr. Jones’ anxiety level must be on the rise. He must be worried about his family, financial status and most importantly about his own health.
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There are various nursing interventions that could be used to manage the anxiety that is being shown by Mr. Jones. One intervention is a close monitoring and assessment of the level of anxiety in the client. This can be done through observing the signs for anxiety and also asking the patient some questions. The health professional could also intervene in the patient’s anxiety by assuring the patient that he has the support he needs. This can be done by ensuring that the nurse is present, touching the patient and even through verbal assurances. This would make the patient realize that he has the support he needs and will assure him that his concerns and needs are being catered for (Faulkner, 1996).
Another nursing intervention to assist Mr. Jones to manage his anxiety would be through supporting the patients need to express his pain or discomfort. A nurse should also be willing to listen to the patient as this is known to reduce anxiety. The nurse should respect the feelings of the patient and should avoid arguments or confrontations with the patient (Watson, 2008). The patient should also be encouraged by being informed that the feeling of anxiety is normal for his condition. While doing this, the nurse should be careful not to offer excess reassurance to the patient.
The nurse should also try to explore ways that had been used by the patient to deal with anxiety and urge the patient to try them. A massage, therapeutic touché and backrubs to patients are also powerful ways of intervening patient’s anxiety. Playing music of the patient’s choice and also enhancing interaction of the patient with animals could also be useful in reduction of anxiety. Some substances such as caffeine which are known to increase anxiety should be avoided (White, 2000).
External stressors are the factors around an individual that he is aware of and that may cause stress. These factors create a feeling of fearing the mind of a person (Carpenito- Moyet, 2007). One of the external stressors to Mr. Jones is his family. He must be very worried about the success of the company while he is sick. Another external stressor is the weak financial status of his family. Mr. Jones will also be stressed by the external fact that he does not have his extended family nearby.
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Internal stressors are defined as the factors within an individual that generate stress. One internal stressor to Mr. Jones is his health condition. The patient has chronic hypertension and he has been injured in a motor car accident. These ailments are likely to cause stress to Mr. Jones. Interpersonal stressors are facts that increase the possibility of a person being stressed out of the interaction of the internal and external stressors. The interpersonal stressors are mainly the character traits and the genetic make up of a person. Mr. Jones is a dominant person and this is likely to be a stressor since he makes all the major decisions in the family (Watson, 2008).
The stressing factors for the family of Mr. Jones are the factors that increase the stress to the family. The family is very stressed by the health of Mr. Jones since one of their loved ones is not feeling well. Another stressor to the family is the financial status because Mr. Jones is the main bread winner for the family, and therefore his sickness means potential financial problems to the family. Another stressor to the family is the fact that they do not have a well established extended family that could help during times of difficulties. The family must also be stressed by the fact that their house is relatively small and it is in a rural area where access to facilities is possibly limited.
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Mr. Jones illness will definitely have a negative impact on the family system socially, financially and otherwise (Faulkner, 1996). First and foremost, the members will miss Mr. Jones for the time he will be under medical care. For that time, he will not be available to his family and this will weaken the family ties. Due to the absence of Mr. Jones from the family for the time he will be undergoing treatment, Mrs. Jones will be required to make major decisions about the family. The earnings to the family will also reduce since most of the resources will be used to pay for the treatment of Mr. Jones. Additionally, Mr. Jones who has been the main breadwinner for the family will not be able to work effectively hence the financial status of the family will weaken.
From the discussion, it is clear that a good understanding of the background of a patient goes a long way in determining the kind of care that should be given to the patient. It is therefore advisable to nurses and health care professional to dig as much as possible into the cultural, financial and family backgrounds of patients since this will help in formulation of the best medical care for the patient.
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