Part of working as a nurse is deciding how to approach and care for
individual patients and their families. As with any career involving
people, there is no set formula on how to deal with and treat patients.
Instead, different nursing situations call for different nursing styles
and techniques. For example, a nurse working in the Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit will use very different techniques than a nurse working in an
addiction recovery center. Just as each area of nursing calls for a
different skill set, different areas of nursing call for different techniques.
Nursing Process Techniques
One aspect of nursing techniques that changes
depending on the nursing situation is the way the nursing process
is carried out. These are things such as how wounds are dressed,
how vitals are taken, and how the nurses interact with the patients
to take histories or check on progress during nursing interventions.
This can change depending on the type of nursing in the situation,
how well or poorly a patient is doing, and what the patient needs
from the health care team. For example, a nurse working in emergency
care might wait to take a patient history until a patient's wounds
are dressed in order to save the patient's life. On the other hand, a
patient in a coma or catatonic state is unable to give a history,
so a different technique for gathering information has to be used.
The emotional and mental support a nurse offers a
patient also changes depending on the nursing situation. How the nurse
connects with the patient depends on why the patient is receiving care,
how he or she is doing, and what nursing interventions are called for in
the situation. For example, a nurse working with psychiatric patients
will use different nurturing techniques than a nurse working in hospice
care. As much as a nurse takes care of a patient's physical body, there
is almost always an aspect of emotional, mental, and/or spiritual care,
as well. The connection a nurse makes with his or her patients can directly
impact how that patient heals and recovers, so the techniques the nurse
uses are an important aspect of nursing care.
Part of the nursing process is assessing the patient. As nurses assess
their patients' health, medical history, and current situations, they
also assess the patients as individuals to determine the best nursing
techniques for their nursing interventions. This allows them to personalize
their nursing care plans for each patient and provide the best care possible
for every patient.