Comfort Theory in PACU Settings - Essay Example

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The researcher will begin with the statement that he agrees with Ms.Donald because Katharine Kolcaba’s mid-range Theory of Comfort can be applied to all facets of healthcare and management, as in Ms.Donald’s case, the PACU settings (PACU) settings…
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Comfort Theory in PACU Settings
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I agree with Ms.Donald, because Katharine Kolcaba’s mid-range Theory of Comfort can be applied to all facets of healthcare and management, as in Ms.Donald’s case, the PACU settings. The theory has also been successfully tested in several patients including those undergoing radiation for breast cancer treatment (Kolcaba & Fox, 1999) and those in their deathbeds (Novak, Kolcaba, Steiner and Dowd, 2001). Kolcaba’s comfort theory explains the existence of comfort is three forms, namely- relief, ease and transcendence. Kolcaba (1994, 2001, 2003) has defined comfort as "the immediate state of being strengthened through having the human needs for relief, ease, and transcendence addressed in four contexts of experience (physical, psychospiritual, sociocultural, and environmental)" (Kolcaba, 2003). Ms.Donald writes that in her practical settings, she identifies the individual needs of each patient and implements appropriate nursing interventions which adds to the holistic approach of Kolcaba’s theory. Patients have implicit and
explicit comfort needs that, when met, strengthen them and motivate them to perform better in therapy, rehabilitation, and learning/adhering to new health regimens (Kolcaba, 1994).A post-anesthesia patient have certain un-met needs which may hinder his/her recovery. These needs are not met by either the family or the health centre but are imperative for the patient’s recovery. This is where Kolcaba’s nursing theory establishes itself. The nursing staff is required to identify the needs and the wants of the patients and comfort the patient in every way possible. Comfort has a different meaning to each being, thus the nursing intervention should also be implemented accordingly. In Ms.Donald’s PACU settings, she intervenes by listening to her patient and reassuring them, in this way she meets the psychospiritual need of her patients. PACU patients have several problems. These patients who have been through complex surgical procedures or other treatments may suffer from physical, pain, nausea, environmental discomfort, homeostatic imbalance on the physical and environmental level while the detractors of their psychospirituality maybe feelings of fear, anxiety and other negative attitudes. While environmental and physical ones are relatively easier to trace and address the other comfort forms have to understood properly. Ms.Donald applies the “coaching” intervention described in the Comfort theory. The Comfort theory suggests that the patient’s wants and needs can be met by anyone and not necessarily the healthcare staff. The family may be equally supportive and provide comfort to the patient. There are altogether three types of nursing interventions that the nursing staff can implement to provide absolute comfort to the patients, all of which when implemented correctly provides the patient with holistic healthcare and encourages health seeking behaviors in the patients (HSB’s). The first one is diagnosing the physical problems like pain, nausea etc. the second intervention termed as “coaching” is providing relief to patients by patiently listening to them and reassuring them positively thereby helping them in reversing the negative thought process. The last one is known as the “food for the soul” which most nursing staff needs to understand. The patient shows no need for this intervention but when implemented it enhances the patients comfort level. It is the duty of the healthcare staff to implement this third intervention all on their own by understanding the patient’s individual wants and fulfilling them. In some cases these would be small gestures such as massaging or holding hands. Sometimes, the third intervention is enough to meet the needs of ease, relief and transcendence all at once and is perhaps the strongest of the three interventions. However, once these holistic interventions are received by the patient, the patient may engage in health seeking behavior which in turn will lead to greater satisfaction of the nursing staff. Thus, Ms.Donald too understands the need of her patients and implements this theory to help her patients recover faster and return to their normal lives.
Wilson.L., Kolcaba. K., (2004). Practical application of comfort theory in perianesthesia setting.
Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing, Vol 19 (no. 3), pp 164-173.
Kolcaba.K.Y., & Kolcaba.R.J. (1991). An analysis of the concept of comfort. Journal of
Advanced Nursing. Vol. 16 (no. 11), 1301-1310.
Kolcaba.K., & Steiner.R. (2000). Empirical evidence for the nature of holistic comfort. Journal
of Holistic Nursing. Vol 18 (no.1), 46-62.
Kolcaba, K. (2003). Comfort Theory and Practice: a vision for holistic healthcare and research.
New York: Springer publishing company. Read More
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