Inside the news: Bring comfort to patients in four main areas

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, February 24, 2009

Did you know that the simple gesture of turning down a patient’s television can provide comfort? That’s just one lesson an associate professor from Ohio is teaching to hospitals around the country.

Kathy Kolcaba, RN, associate professor emeritus at The University of Akron in Ohio, is on a mission to educate hospitals on ways to provide holistic comfort to patients. While earning her master’s degree in nursing research, Kolcaba developed her comfort strategies in hopes of helping hospitals improve care. She recently journeyed to The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York—an ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® recipient in 2004—to educate staff on four main areas to bring comfort to patients:

  1. Physical: Make sure patients are comfortable in their bed and room. Also, if they are experiencing any pain, see how you can help.
  2. Psycho-spiritual: Review a patient’s overall well-being. For example, if there is anxiety about a diagnosis, he or she may need to speak with a chaplain.
  3. Environmental: Help make the patient’s room more relaxing. Ask him or her if there’s anything needed to create a comfortable space. This could be as simple as providing a warm blanket or turning down the television volume.
  4. Socio-cultural. Assist patients who are feeling alone or depressed. Have them speak with a social worker or a chaplain.


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