Holistic assessments in nursing provide a unique quality of care to the individual patient. Holism in the provision of care includes assessments obtaining data about the physiological, psychological, sociological, spiritual, developmental, cultural and environmental aspects. It is imperative that the nurse conducting these assessments adopts methods in the nursing process that reflects the standards outlined in Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse to ensure the health and wellbeing of the patient is maximized and maintained throughout the time health care is received. Nursing processes are directed at restoring overall harmony for the patient therefore an understanding of the individual as a whole person must be assessed. During the nursing process, the nurse will perform the assessment, diagnose, plan, implement and evaluate the patient in an ongoing process. This essay will outline the importance of a holistic approach in nursing assessment and the importance assessment in the nursing process. cultural, spiritual and psychological aspects of the holistic assessment and the relevance of these components in the provision of care will be discussed and how AMNC standards apply to care in nursing. A holistic approach in nursing assessment establishes the patients’ physiological, psychological, sociological, spiritual, developmental, cultural and environmental aspects in their life. Obtaining data holistically is vital in assisting a patients’ ability to manage their symptoms and emotional status maximizing quality of life during the stages of illness or health changes (Margereson & Trenoweth 2009: 104). The aim of the holistic approach in nursing assessment is to establish the type of support and care required for the individual, developing a quality of care that assists their wellbeing as a whole person (Margereson & Trenoweth 2009: 104). When assessing the patient it is important that the nurse “collects data that relates to physiological, psychological, spiritual, socio-economic and cultural variables on an ongoing basis” as outlined in ANMC competency 5.1 (ANMC 2006, p. 8). The ANMC competency is supported by, Margereson & Trenoweth (2009:104), who describes the assessment process as ongoing and is determined by the changing needs of the patient, their family and their carer’s. Margereson & Trenoweth (2009: 104) further describes that the holistic approach supports the patient to build psychological resilience and wellbeing, to maintain independence as well as developing care and support networks that is best suited to the individual. The holistic approach in nursing assessment provides the patient assistance in decision making, achieving goals, addressing needs and desires and can build on strengths (Margereson & Trenoweth 2009: 104). Therefore, it is crucial to obtain data holistically in assessment to support and maximise the patients’ health and wellbeing.
Assessment in the nursing process is an important aspect, as the information gathered enables a comprehensive response to the patients’ health status. It is important for the nurse to adopt an approach following the guidelines outlined in the ANMC, Domain 5, “Provision and coordination of care” (ANMC 2006, p. 8) to ensure preferences are met an accuracy is maintained when carrying out assessment. The nursing process is a cyclic method that involves assessing, diagnosing, planning, implementing and evaluating (Kozier & Erb 2012: 213). Kozier & Erb (2012: p. 212-213) describes the nursing process as an overlapping lapping sequence that focuses on establishing the patients social, cultural, emotional, spiritual as well as physical needs. Assessment will establish this data as well as a patients’ health history, concerns, health status and their ability to manage their own health care needs (Kozier & Erb: 213). Kozier & Erb (2012: 212) also maintain that data collected in the assessment phase enables the...
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