Learning from the patient

The healthcare profession involves augmentation of a patient’s condition through therapeutic intervention.  The shared moment between a healthcare worker and a patient who is unbearably suffering by himself provides guidance for proper course of action, often resulting in greater patient satisfaction and healing potentialities (Gooden et al., 2001).  During this interaction, the healthcare professional establishes his presence by using a human care transaction mind-body-soul with another’s mind-body-soul in a lived moment.

Presence has been defined as a relational style within healthcare professional interactions that involves being with, as well as doing with.  The core of this interaction is to learn and understand the circumstances of the situation and to direct the course of action to achieve the desired outcome of healing and recuperation in the part of the patient (Rachagan and Sharon, 2003; Hagihara A and Tarumi K, 2006).  In addition, the focused shared moments with the patient and his family teaches the healthcare professional to identify the key turning point necessary for patient’s healing process (Gore and Ogden, 1998; Street et al., 2003).

The professional learns the needs of his patient by being fully present and consciously relating to his whole being, enabling the professional to use aesthetic ways of discovering the obstructions in the hidden pathways preventing the healing process (Murphy DD and Lam CL, 2002).  The healthcare professional plays a major role as a therapeutic agent by getting deeply involved with the situation using his inner energy of caring, being open and listening with solid awareness, and developing and sustaining a helping-trusting, authentic caring relationship (Ornstein, 1977; Heszen-Klemens and Lapinska E, 1984; Berry, 2007).

Healthcare guidelines highlight that every healthcare professional is accountable for his decision and action and for maintaining competencies in every day of practice. This strong foundation requires that all nurses provide a therapeutic professional-patient relationship and provide care to patients under the scope of practice according to their needs, which will in turn, lead to significant outcomes (Clark, 2002).  Healthcare workers use different types of presence in order to learn from their patient, in order a therapeutic relationship and mutual understanding under any circumstance.

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References

Berry PA (2007):  The absence of sadness: darker reflections on the doctor-patient relationship.  J. Med. Ethics 33(5):266-8.

Clark PA (2002):  Confidentiality and the physician-patient relationship — ethical reflections from a surgical waiting room.  Med. Sci. Monit. 8(11):SR31-4.

Gooden BR, Smith MJ, Tattersall SJ and Stockler MR (2001):  Hospitalised patients’ views on doctors and white coats.  Med. J. Aust. 175(4):219-22.

Gore J and Ogden J (1998):  Developing, validating and consolidating the doctor-patient relationship: the patients’ views of a dynamic process.  Br. J. Gen. Pract. 48(432):1391-4.

Hagihara A and Tarumi K (2006):  Doctor and patient perceptions of the level of doctor explanation and quality of patient-doctor communication.  Scand. J. Caring Sci. 20(2):143-50.

Heszen-Klemens I and Lapinska E (1984):  Doctor-patient interaction, patients’ health behavior and effects of treatment.  Soc. Sci. Med. 19(1):9-18.

Murphy DD and Lam CL (2002):  Functional needs: agreement between perception of rural patients and health professionals in China.  Occup. Ther. Int. 9(2):91-110.

Ornstein PH (1977):  The family physician as a “therapeutic instrument”.  J. Fam. Pract. 4(4):659-61.

Rachagan SS and Sharon K (2003):  The patient’s view.  Med J Malaysia. 58 Suppl A:86-101.

Street RL Jr, Krupat E, Bell RA, Kravitz RL and Haidet P (2003):  Beliefs about control in the physician-patient relationship: effect on communication in medical encounters.  J. Gen. Intern. Med. 18(8):609-16.

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