- When a single nurse is designated as the point of contact and primary caregiver for a patient during a hospital stay or other episode of care, it is known as primary care nursing. The primary care nursing team, as envisioned by staff nurses at the University of Minnesota in 1969, consists of that lead nurse, who supervises the participation of a licensed practical nurse and/or nursing assistant in that patient’s care.
- In addition, the primary care nurse serves as a care partner, acting as a communication link between the patient, his or her doctor, and other members of the care team. (To fulfill this duty, many facilities and systems have developed the post of the nurse practitioner.)
- Because of the single-source relationship, supporters of the Primary n model claim that it fosters a stronger bond and trust between patients and providers. They claim that having a single nurse monitoring the patient’s care elevates it and that the structure allows the nurse to use administrative skills while also providing the greatest bedside treatment.
The Challenges of Adapting the Primary Nursing Care Model
- Even yet, for a variety of reasons, it is not a straightforward system to implement. Nurses who participate in it, for example, must have excellent interpersonal skills. Nurses are known for great empathy, but due to high patient loads and nursing shortages, many, if not all, are working under time limitations, which may have caused those skills to deteriorate.
- In addition, becoming a primary care nurse entails bearing some responsibility for the patient’s outcome. The nurse is both a caregiver and a care manager, which is a tough balance to strike.
Change Is Resisted
- Finally, there’s the traditional aversion to change. It’s normal to be skeptical of new systems, especially if they claim to solve many of the difficulties that nurses encounter in today’s hospitals and other care settings. Their primary purpose is nearly always to spend more time with patients and develop interpersonal ties with them, their friends, and their families.
- When done correctly, primary care nursing creates the environment for those interactions to occur, as well as improving patient safety and results, as well as staff satisfaction and retention.