How Patient Care Changes the Providers

736 words | 3 page(s)

For the provider, the goal of patient care is obviously improving the health and well-being of the patient. It is also to guarantee that the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient, as well as the family, are ensured. However, it is important to recognize that patient care also offers the health care provider unique opportunities to grow and to develop as human beings. While it is obvious that assessment and clinical skills will improve with patient care, there is also an opportunity to realize fully the value and dignity of human life.

I have had several important experiences with patients. I believe the most important aspect of patient care is recognizing that the individual patient represents more than a medical history and treatment plans. In the fast paced, busy world of modern health-care, it is easy to focus on the requirements to fulfill the patient’s treatment plan. It is often easy to overlook the history of the person, not only the medical history. The patient represents a life of fulfilled and unfulfilled dreams, ambitions, desires, warm moments, smiles and heartbreaks. If one has an extra moment or two to discuss the life of the patient with the patient or family members, one will walk away from this patient care moment a much better human being, as well as a health care provider.

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In my experiences with patients, I have had the pleasure of working with individuals who are in their eighties and nineties. I even talked with one patient who was 102 years old. While it is often assumed that older individuals all suffer from dementia, this is an incorrect assessment (World Health Organization, 2012). Older individuals may forget things; I have also noted the same about myself some days, however. It is not fair to assume something about a person based upon his or her age. This is as wrong as assuming something about a person based upon religion or ethnicity. Therefore, I have learned that all individuals should be approached in the same manner. After performing an assessment of the individual, one may then adjust the conversation and activities to the needs of the individual. I also enjoy working with elderly patients because they are a special needs population. The complex medical histories and use of multiple medications make their assessments challenging, which I enjoy (Gerstenbilth, 1990, p. 7).

Many of the older individuals with whom I have had the pleasure to work often have sparkling memories and a lively sense of conversation. I always enjoyed history classes. However, having a discussion with a person who is nearly one hundred years old is better than anything one can find in a history book. I have discovered that, unfortunately, in our modern day society, older individuals are not respected and asked for their opinions and advice. This is a tremendous shame, not to mention a waste of a remarkable resource. An individual who has ninety years of life experience obviously has something to share with others. I have often found that the best question to ask is simply, “What was your favorite decade or period of life?” The stories are much better than any history book.

I have recognized that I enjoy spending time with my patients. I enjoy working with them on a one-to-one basis. This allows me the time to learn more about them as individuals, not just patients. As such, I have recognized that I wish to practice as a primary health care provider. There are many health care professions that are equally important as primary care providers, yet offer limited opportunities to know the patients in detail. Respiratory therapists and radiologists are two examples. These are crucial to the health care team (Medline Plus, 2014). However, I believe I want to continue my education in a way that will allow me to be actively involved in the lives of my patients. I am thankful for the experiences I have had with patients up until this point. Because of these experiences, I recognized that my career path is in hands-on primary care. I believe this will allow me to assist others while also enriching my life.

  • Gerstenblith, G. (1990). Special considerations in the elderly patient. Journal of human hypertension, 4, 7-10.
  • Medline Plus. (2014, February 3). Types of healthcare providers. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from:
  • World Health Organization. (2012, April). Dementia. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from:

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