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Patients need to understand their health and what treatment entails. The role of family physicians are to ensure that good health is maintained and quality treatment is given to all patients. A patient requires changing in many ways including his/her lifestyle this is particularly essential for patients with long-term illnesses. The change in lifestyle can be in terms of feeding habits in case of obese patients who need to reduce fat consumption. However it’s quite difficult for one to change life behaviors thus requires medics’ support.
Helping the sick is important and fulfilling. It is the responsibility of every nation, society or family to take care of the sick among them. The sick undergo a lot of physical pain as well as psychological suffering and hence require much care. Some illnesses are acquired as a result of bad practices or certain lifestyles that people adopt, this means that with adequate education such illnesses can be evaded. Health education and individual counseling are vital in communicating information on healthy living. This will ensure that the public takes to lifestyles that do not threaten their health or those in their neighborhood (Sue, 2003).
The topic of serving the sick is also essential in enlightening the health practitioners on the suffering of the patients. In cases of accidents or wars the victims require more forms of treatment. Then traumas from the incidence as well as the cuts or burns leave the patients in full dependant on the hands of the health practitioners. The patients undergo a lot of suffering and are more often in shock and traumatized, which means that handling them requires patients as well as the understanding of the person nursing them. At times mental care is needed.
The counselor and the patient should uphold a high level understanding. In this relationship the counselor should evade being judgmental as this will easily kill the client’s morale with regard to the change process. He/she should be offering much support to the client to enable him successfully find an answer to his problems. The client should be offered with a favorable environment to allow him/her to communicate freely. The support provided will not only make the client feel at ease but also it will help him/her be able to efficiently tell the way forward. The client has got also a role to play; he should be positive and be willing to participate in ensuring that the problem surrounding him is well catered for and solved.
As one is facilitating change to the patients he should know that behavior change is not a single act and the patients have to have it in stages gradually until they fully embrace it. The following theoretical approaches are undertaken to ensure that change is embraced by the patients (Munro, 1989).
The first stage is the pre-contemplation stage here the patients are very reluctant they do not recognize the need of giving up their past lifestyle; they are normally argumentative and highly resistant. This is because they are so much attached to these practices and giving up of their past actions is seemed like a loss to them. Generally the patients are faced with so many barriers and to outdo this the physician will have hard tasks of trying to help the patients contemplate for the change. The choice of words to be used by the physician is also very vital as they will have a very big effect on the final decision made by the patient. Care should be taken to avoid the patient thinking that your aim is to convert him/her (Joyce, 2005).
The second stage is the preparation stage in it the patients get ready to undergo a particular change. The patients in this stage make small changes with anticipations of bigger ones in the future, they are actually experimenting the change. The physician ought to shift his roles from motivating him to ensuring that there is actual change in terms of behavior. An example of the slight changes includes consuming meals with lower fat contents and exercising oftenly.
The third stage is called the Action stage; this is the most important stage because it shows the patient’s commitment to undertake the much needed change. A lot of pride is felt because so much has already been achieved. The change acts as a motivation to the patient to keep on working.
The fourth stage is the Maintenance stage where the patient tries to uphold the newly obtained lifestyle; this is quite an extensive period therefore a lot of patience is required as one may make the patient give up. This stage requires the physician to continue showing the much progress attained and motivate the patient to continue matching ahead.
The final stage is relapse in it the patient experiences normal way of change, the change is fully embraced and healthy practices are acquired. The support of the health practitioners is appreciated by the patient and more frequently the change is integrated into the patient’s life (Joyce 2005).
Though this is the normal sequence in which change is undertaken sometimes the patient may be forced to go back to an already undergone process, this is especially so when good foundation and needed coverage is not fully undergone. For a number of times one may be forced to arbitrate to allow for progress in the process. As one is helping in the change he should be careful not to force the patient to change but he should help him in the process of changing this can even be through words of advice.
This model can be used to solve a number of problems for example to persons who are chain smokers or even alcoholics. One can help them successfully undergo the procedure; nevertheless there are many questions that one will need to answer in each particular stage. For example the victim will have to answer the following questions in the pre-contemplation stage: what has to happen to me so that I can know that I have a problem? The warning signs and also whether he has ever tried to change in the past. In the contemplation stage the chain smoker or drunkard will answer questions such as why he needs to undertake the change, the reasons that he has for not changing in the past, the factors that can make him not to change at this particular time and what he knows can help him change (James, 1950).
Apart from smoking cessation practiced this counseling can also be used to people facing issues such as obesity and do wish to cut on their weights, persons whose self esteem is low, people facing depression cases, marriage problems that is disputes experienced by married people or even courting persons and finally to persons who lacking confidence to perform particular tasks such undertaking a particular exam or even military officers who need to undergo risky missions.
This model is interactive since it is used on a face to face process and this makes it have the following strengths. First being a personal form of counseling one will be able to create a conducive environment between him and the client this sought of relationship will ensure maximum benefits are got. Being a direct two way relation, communication techniques will be enhanced and therefore one will be able to relate with the other persons with greater ease. Lastly the counselor will be able to adequately understand the patient as he can be able to tell his non-verbal signs which he will observe from his/her client as they communicate (James, 1950).
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Though this model is very effective it’s faced by a number of shortcomings or limitations this includes increased costs this is due to the a lot of cash that will be spent in terms of transport as one is either visiting the client or even as the client is visiting the counselor. Also being one on one the client may not feel so much free to reveal everything in so doing the counselor might fail to give the full support and care needed to him or her. More to that there may be complexity in assessing particular persons this may be as a result of inaccessibility of certain areas or where particular persons may have serious hardships in terms of mobility in case of disabled persons( Munro, 1989).
People are diverse in terms of gender, race, tribe, religion and even geographical location. These differences add to cultural difference. Cultural diversity has got a lot to do when it comes to lifestyle of a person, for example you cannot tell a Muslim to start consuming pork products or to a Hindu to consume beef. Therefore it’s of paramount importance for a helper to be well equipped with cultural diversities that do exist so as not to convey unacceptable message to the client (Sue, 2003).
This also calls for the counselor to be aware of various cultural practices that are harmful to human health; examples are female genital mutilation (FGM) by some regions and tribes or even killing of albinos mostly practiced by African tribes.
To sum it up this model of personal helping will greatly influence positively towards patients. They will obtain both the medical care they deserve and at the same time they will receive guidelines that will assist them avoid such illnesses in the future. In the case of accidents patients are able to face the life after. The recovery period is smooth and the trauma is reduced.
Sue, D. W. (2003).Counseling the culturally diversity. New York: John Wiley & Sons Publishers.
Joyce L. C. (2005). Family Treatment for an Adolescent. New Jersey: Rouledge Publishers.
Munro, A. (1989). Skills of Problem-solving. New Jersey: Rouledge publishers.
James, W. (1950). Principles of Psychology. New York: Courier Dover publishers.