Modalities of Nursing Care
Modalities of Nursing Care
This refers to the manner in which nursing care is organized and provided. It depends on the philosophy of the organization, nurse staffing and client population.
Case Method/Total Patient Care
In case method, the nurse cares for one patient whom the nurse cares for exclusively. The Case Method evolved into what we now call private duty nursing. It was the first type of nursing care delivery system.
In Total Patient Care, the nurse is responsible for the total care of the patient during the nurse’s working shift. The RN is responsible for several patients.
- Consistency in carrying out the nursing care plan
- Patient needs are quickly met as high number of RN hours are spent on the patient
- Relationship based on trust is developed between the RN and the patient’s family
- It can be very costly
It is a task-oriented method wherein a particular nursing function is assigned to each staff member. The medication nurse, treatment nurse and bedside nurse are all products of this system. For efficiency, nursing was essentially divided into tasks, a model that proved very beneficial when staffing was poor. The key idea was for nurses to be assigned to tasks, not to patients.
- A very efficient way to delivery care.
- Could accomplish a lot of tasks in a small amount of time
- Staff members do only what they are capable of doing
- Least costly as fewer RNs are required
- Care of patients become fragmented and depersonalized
- Patients do not have one identifiable nurse
- Very narrow scope of practice for RNs
- Leads to patient and nurse dissatisfaction
This is the most commonly used model and is still in use today. It was developed in the 1950’s in order to somewhat ameliorate the fragmentation that was inherent in the functional model. The goal of team nursing is for a team to work democratically. In the ideal team, an RN is assigned as a Team Leader for a group of patients. The Team Leader has a core of staff reporting to her, and together they work to disseminate the care activities. The team member possessing the skill needed by the individual patient is assigned to that patient, but the Team Leader still has accountability for all of the care. Team conferences occur in which the expertise of every staff member is used to plan the care.
- Each member’s capabilities are maximized so job satisfaction should be high
- Patients have one nurse (the Team Leader) with immediate access to other health providers
- Requires a team spirit and commitment to succeed
- RN may be the Team Leader one day and a team member the next, thus continuity of patient care may suffer
- Care is still fragmented with only 8 or 12 hour accountability
The hallmark of this modality is that one nurse cares for one group of patients with a 24-hour accountability for planning their care. In other words, a Primary Nurse (PN) cares for her primary patients every time she works and for as long as the patient remains on her unit. An Associate Nurse cares for the patient in the PN’s absence and follows the PN’s individualized plan of care. This is a decentralized delivery model: more responsibility and authority is placed with each staff nurse.
- Increased satisfaction for patients and nurses
- More professional system: RN plans and communicates with all healthcare members. RNs are seen as more knowledgeable and responsible.
- RNs more satisfied because they continue to learn as as part of the in-depth care they are required to deliver to their patient
- Only confines a nurse’s talents to a limited number of patients, so other patients cannot benefit if the RN is competitive
- Can be intimidating for RNs who are less skilled and knowledgeable
Modular Nursing (District Nursing)
This is a modification of team and primary nursing. It is a geographical assignment of patient that encourages continuity of care by organizing a group of staff to work with a group of patients in the same locale.
- Useful when there are a few Rns
- RNs plan their care
- Paraprofessionals do technical aspects of nursing care
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