The story told at the beginning of "Patient-Centered Care: More than the Sum of Its Parts" (Putting Patients First, September 2010) is very touching. Gestures like this—a nurse ensuring that a woman receiving chemotherapy danced to her wedding song with her husband on their anniversary—don't take much effort but enhance the patient's experience tremendously, making a stressful day more bearable.
I try my best to incorporate patient-centered care into my daily nursing activities—both as a nurse and a student studying for my bachelor of science in nursing degree—and was pleasantly surprised to learn that this type of care is the norm in facilities that are part of Planetree's Patient-Centered Hospital Designation Program.
Nurses' increasing workload leaves them very little time to think about providing care that's centered on the patient. Implementing system-wide standards would enhance nursing care and improve interdisciplinary care. As mentioned in the article, this has also been found to be cost effective and to improve patient satisfaction.
Roopa Dhurjati, RN
El Paso, TX