The human being has dimensions studied by biology, psychology, social and human sciences, spirituality, and health that are interconnected; also, as a human being, they have the unique reasoning capacity in the human species. In this sense, it can be inferred that the essence of caring is typical of human beings to the human being, especially from the nursing profession founded on ethical and professional practices. Therefore, nursing professionals are expected to take charge of the comprehensive primary care of patients, especially in the intensive care unit (ICU), due to their health status. Starting from the previous premise, it is important to know the perception of patients about the professional actions of nurses in ICU, so the objective of this research is to determine the perception of patients in ICU about the humanized care they receive from nursing professionals, to improve users’ care and service and feel satisfied with the humanized care provided by the surgical center nursing staff. In addition, establish strategies aimed at improving humanized care.
Keywords: Nursing, comprehensive primary care, ICU, to humanize care.
Statement of purpose
In ICU, the admission of patients is routine; therefore, health personnel do not always have enough time or experience to make a comprehensive approach to patients. Thus, nurses may show themselves before mechanical and automated patients, causing patients to perceive dehumanized treatment, increasing the gap between professional training, the health system, technology, and the humane and compassionate treatment of nursing professionals (Crigger, Brannigan & Baird, 2020). To this, it is essential to add the growing incidence of increasingly young sick populations and health relapses of older patients, which has increased the workload of health teams, limiting their personal and professional resources to offer comprehensive care. Thus, patients may perceive a lack of communication and mutual support from health professionals, especially nurses, neglecting the care of each patient’s spirit and vital essence.
Facing this situation, WHO (2016) has expressed itself, calling for the consideration of the structures, way of working, and professionals surrounding ICU patients. This organization affirms that the humanization of clinical practice and public health depends on a reform of the iron and rigid medical and epidemiological tradition. Then, it would suppose that the reform should focus on combining the scientific objectification of the health/disease/intervention process with new ways of operating that include patients as human beings in need of compassion and virtue and encourage health professionals to dispose of their better communication, understanding and human skills to meet the needs of patients.
Regarding nursing, different studies have been interested in identifying the importance of the humanized treatment of health personnel towards users, as a determining factor for the recovery process, both for the user and their family. Dr. Watson, the author of the “Human Care Theory,” argues that given the risk of dehumanization toward patient care, due to the great administrative restructuring of most health care systems in the world, it is necessary the rescue the human, spiritual and transpersonal aspect, in clinical, administrative, educational and research practice by nursing professionals (Watson, 2016). So, it is easy to understand from Watson’s proposal that nurses are professionals with technical capacity and ability and ethical and humane to efficiently integrate any multi-professional health team since the functions of these professionals are oriented to the comprehensive care of patients with specific needs as in ICU.
From this perspective, it is understandable that the most vulnerable patients require special and specific care for their recovery; therefore, nurses must offer to humanize care, thinking that the patient is a needing affection, intimacy, and shelter. So, along with good practices, humanization must be linked as an essential practice, allowing to orient the work of nurses towards the service of the sick, thus addressing psychological, biological, social, and spiritual dimensions (Brannigan, 2018). Therefore, it is possible that promoting a humanized approach to ICU care among nurses allows them to openly demonstrate compassion towards others, listen carefully to patients, understand their concerns, and through fraternity serve as an instrument of healing.
Focusing on the previous approach, the nurses, and patients of the ICU unit of Nicklaus Children’s hospital may be experiencing this phenomenon and suffering from the gap between need and care that implies the absence of humanized care. Thus, identifying this lack promptly and raising awareness of humanized care would mean improving the quality and care that the most vulnerable patients receive.
What is the perception of ICU patients about the humanized care of Nicklaus Children’s hospital nursing team?