5 Factors of Holistic Health Nurses Should Address for Better Outcomes
Holistic care revolves around providing comprehensive care, which is at the heart of a nurse’s job. From mental, physical, spiritual, and social needs, holistic care seeks to improve and promote all aspects of human beings. Moreover, holism proclaims that mind and spirit affect the body. When talking about health, holism implies that human beings are composed of many interdependent biological, social, psychological, and spiritual aspects that make up a person. Therefore, treating someone according to holism implies the inclusion of medication, counseling, complementary treatment, self-help, and communication.
When a nurse’s profession is viewed from the idea of holism, it means factoring in all aspects of a patient and their impact on treatment when caring for them. Therefore, a nurse should be vigilant about the social, cultural, emotional, sentimental, and attitudinal underpinnings when offering treatment to patients. The highlighting factor of holistic care is that it respects human dignity and is rooted in determining all the elements that influence health. More importantly, the relationship between the care provider and the receiver is based on mutual respect, relative openness, and equality. Patients are also included in the decision-making process in such holistic care treatment programs.
Today nurses are learning about the significance of holistic care as part of their bachelor’s and master of science in nursing online educational programs and extensive training. It has become an integral aspect of their academic qualification to improve patient care outcomes. For this purpose, such eLearning programs are incorporating these essential care models.
Factors of holistic care
Holistic care aims to treat the patient beyond its physical needs. Hence, emotional, social, cultural, spiritual, and intellectual aspects are essential in providing adequate patient care. Previously, when the healthcare sector didn’t consider holistic health aspects, it failed to cure people living with chronic diseases and diagnosable symptoms. After years of research and trials, the healthcare industry realized how critical it is to address all the holistic care factors to ensure satisfactory patient outcomes. Therefore, addressing holistic care pillars is indispensable to unearth health issues, provide adequate treatments, and ensure long-run well-being.
Now, let’s see which factors of holistic care nurses should address to achieve better patient outcomes.
1. Develop healthy habits
When discussing living a healthy life, physical health is often considered the only essential aspect. Still, in reality, nurses must understand that it’s just one facet of improving patient outcomes. And that’s because the physical body is the first to show optimal or sub-optimal health symptoms. Physical signs are easier to identify with the help of physical tests and scans, allowing healthcare professionals to unearth potential issues. As a result, more emphasis on physical health is understandable.
For this reason, nurses must examine the vitals such as blood pressure, body temperature, respiration rate, and pulse rate to ensure everything is normal. Nurses must also educate their patients about the benefits of exercising and quitting smoking.
2. Consider the emotional well-being
Emotional health is one of the highly neglected aspects of care. Nonetheless, one must understand that it’s as essential as physical or mental health. Often a condition aggravates because of excessive stress and inability to contain the emotions. In this way, emotional health impacts your physical health too. By considering emotional care as part of the treatment, nurses can further improve the chances of attaining positive outcomes.
Nurses must understand the effect of an illness on a patient’s entire life. Hence, palliative care should be an integral part of care provision. It can improve the quality of a patient’s life while considering emotional well-being.
3. Offer a supportive environment
As is well-established, humans are made to live in societies surrounded by people. They are also programmed to get affected by good and bad behaviors. When patients are in the hospital, they’re a part of a social setting. The behavior of nurses with their patients can immensely impact their emotional well-being, which further influences the efficacy of the treatment. When patients feel disrespected and disregarded by their care providers, they may not open up about their illnesses and feel discouraged and emotionally weak.
Therefore, nurses must connect with the patients by understanding their culturally and religiously diverse needs. Nurses can further enhance patient outcomes by paying heed to inclusivity and diversity in healthcare settings.
4. Understand the spiritual needs
Individuals from all walks of life opt for medical treatments and services, whether daily, monthly, or yearly. Many of them have unique spiritual and religious needs, necessitating being mindful of both. Nurses have to understand the spiritual needs of their patients. For this reason, they must encourage them to participate in practices like yoga and meditation to connect with their inner self.
Yoga and meditation improve immunity, reduce stress, and boost overall health. Eventually, it improves a person’s ability to fight diseases and illnesses in the long run. Meditation and yoga are prime examples of how one aspect of care is linked to others and brings a greater combined effect.
5. Determine the mental health aspect
The mental aspect of holistic care is its last dimension, often overlapping with other health factors, such as emotional and physical. But there’s a significant difference between the emotional and mental aspects. While mental aspects refer to cognitive abilities and intellect, the emotional aspect is linked to day-to-day moods and emotions such as sadness, anger, etc.
When giving care, nurses must understand that patients are humans and battle various mental health conditions. Since these conditions can either be minor or severe, they must be consulted and asked about their opinion on a treatment option. This way, healthcare professionals can devise treatments programs that cater to patients’ mental health concerns.
Given the rise in addressing all the health challenges people face, holistic care strategies are being implemented in healthcare setups worldwide. Holistic care is about providing care considering all aspects of health, including the body, soul, and mind. Besides, you cannot expect positive health outcomes from a mentally and emotionally unstable patient. Similarly, when patients’ opinions about treatment and various aspects of healthcare are not considered, they feel neglected and demotivated to show positive outcomes. Therefore, nurses must consider all the factors of holistic care to gain satisfactory patient outcomes.