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Primary nursing as seen by patients and nurses Konnert, Joanne Norine


Primary nursing is a system of delivering nursing care when one nurse is responsible and accountable for the assessment of the patient's needs as well as the planning, implementing and evaluating of the nursing care throughout the patient's hospitalization. These activities are done in collaboration with the patient and other members of the health team. This system is a relatively recent development in the field of nursing. There has been little research done to either describe or evaluate primary nursing, particularly in the area of psychiatry. This study was an attempt to include both patients and nurses in such an evaluation. A validated and reliable questionnaire was developed by the author to obtain data related to patients' and nurses’ perceptions of the occurrence, importance and satisfaction of specific primary nursing behaviours. The questionnaire was administered to twenty-nine patients and their primary nurses during the last week of the patient's hospitalization. Nurses and patients reported that primary nursing behaviours related to discharge had a low occurrence rate. However, they attributed a high degree of importance to these same behaviours. Both groups reported a low occurrence and importance score for primary nursing behaviours related to family involvement with the primary nurse and the patient's treatment program. Both nurses and patients agreed on the occurrence and importance of most of the primary nursing behaviours. There was less agreement in the area of satisfaction.

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