Holistic vs Department specific

  1. What is your opinion on nursing staff providing holistic care to their patients versus department specific care? For example a post operative surgical nurse assisting a patient with a total joint replacement in walking and ADL's as well as providing support and getting social services involved since his wife just passed away. Or disregarding the passing of his wife.
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    About Kcharm06

    Joined: Sep '14; Posts: 4


  3. by   Here.I.Stand
    Not sure if I'm understanding your question correctly, but "holistic" does not mean "generic." We can't remove, say, the oncology aspects of nursing in an oncology dept, or the critical aspects of nursing in the ICU. The big reason we have department-specific nurses is it would be almost impossible for individual RNs to become competent in every single specialty. You can't just plop any RN into the ICU or the burn unit or peds or L&D and say, "You'll be fine because we provide holistic care and not department-specific care." Said nurse would KILL someone. I know I would.
  4. by   MunoRN
    This is a good example of why it's so ridiculous to refer to "holistic" nursing as a specialty, it does a huge disservice to nursing in general and displays a poor understanding of what the word means. ALL nurses are expected to provide holistic care, it's a central aspect of what differentiates us from other care providers. What the "specialty" of holistic nursing refers to is actually complimentary/alternative treatments, which is a very different thing than holistic care.

    I think what you're referring to by "unit specific" is actually medical-diagnosis specific. So to answer your question, yes all nurses are expected to care for the patient as a whole, not just focus on an individual medical diagnosis. If you've assessed that the patient's needs include coordinating support for the passing of his wife then acting on that is something that would be expected of any nurse, even though that usually means deferring that to someone for whom that is in their scope, such as a social worker.
  5. by   Kcharm06
    I completely agree. I am meaning more of the emotional care provided to patients by us I guess.
  6. by   Kcharm06
    Thank you for your response. It has actually made my understanding of holistic nursing a little more clear.