The nursing field continues to play an integral part in the treatment and taking care of patients. This has made it one of the most sought-after professions in the wider health fraternity. In this paper, this condition is looked into, suggesting some of the government policy considerations likely to influence the nursing field. As people who spend much time and engage patients daily, nurses are seen to be organs around which the treatment of patients, including those with the COVID-19 condition, revolves. The paper also discusses how COVID-19 is likely to impact quality care, patient safety, and the costs to individuals and the healthcare system. Further, the paper highlights the impact of federal and state legislation on the nursing practice.
In this practicum, an older woman showing signs and symptoms of coronavirus disease has been engaged. In addition to her test returning a positive result, the patient exhibited general weakness, taste sensations, fever, headache, and cough. All these are signs of COVID-19, which was identified as the problem to work on in this paper. It was learned that the patient had doubts that she might have contracted the diseases even before she could be told or before her test results could be communicated. This is perhaps why the patient was seen to be strong even when hospitalized. It also appeared that the patient had some knowledge about the disease, how it is transmitted and how transmission can be minimized or avoided.
In accordance with the Core Elms Volunteer Experience Form and time spent with the patient, there was no problem that was encountered while providing results to the patient. This was attributed to the fact that the patient had some knowledge about the disease, its signs, and symptoms, as well as the ways through which it can be transmitted. As already pointed out earlier, the patient was suspected of having contracted the disease. This ensured that the communication of results was not to the patient’s shock.
The Problem and Quality Care, Patient Safety, And Costs to Individual and The System
Quality of care refers to the extent to which individuals’ populations’ health services increase the possibility of achieving the desired outcomes. To achieve universal health coverage, the quality of care must have professional knowledge based on evidence. Therefore, quality of care must be effective, safe, and people-centered. For the benefits of quality health care to be attained, nurses and all other medical practitioners should ensure that the health services they provide are equitable, timely, efficient, and integrated.
Several factors can compromise or affect the quality of care. They include the socio-demographic variables of patients, the cooperation level of the patients, the type of illness of the patients, and the socio-demographic variables of the physician. Others are the physician’s competence in terms of knowledge and skills, facilities and resources, satisfaction and motivation of the physician, the healthcare system, and partnership development and collaboration. It is important to note that the effect of the patient illness, which is COVID-19, will be evaluated in this discussion.
The patient’s illness affects the quality of care in various ways. Even before the emergence of coronavirus diseases, previous pandemics presented big challenges to healthcare systems in keeping patients safe and providing them with quality care (Bombard et al., 2018). Most of these challenges were felt during the crises’ height. Similarly, COVID-19, a new crisis, presents various challenges to healthcare systems, especially physicians. One of these challenges is that the physicians have to learn while treating the patients. Unlike the patient’s problem involved here, most diseases have had vaccines and treatment procedures outlined. However, with COVID-19, the priority of physicians has to be split between learning about the disease and conducting treatment, which ultimately affects the quality of care.
Patient safety is a discipline in healthcare that aims to prevent and minimize errors, harm, and risks occurring to patients while receiving healthcare. It is one of the most crucial disciplines that seek to ensure quality health services. However, various factors affect patient safety (Graban & Toussaint, 2018). The first factors are those related to the patient. These include demographic features, coping styles, and emotional experiences. Secondly, it can be affected by factors related to the healthcare providers. These factors include interaction with patients as well as their roles. Thirdly, patient safety can be affected by factors related to the healthcare setting. Lastly, patient safety can be affected by factors related to the patient’s illness.
Illness-related factors can have a great impact on patient safety in various ways. For instance, patients exhibiting less severe conditions are likely to participate in their healthcare compared to those with severe conditions. However, patient involvement can also be associated with aspects like the way signs and symptoms show out, the effects of the symptoms on the patient’s functional status, and treatment plans (Boserup et al., 2020). For instance, for a patient in a critical condition who is in ICU or has to be fed or be bedridden, it is difficult for such a patient to have a conversation with physicians or participate actively in their healthcare. Therefore, the illness affects the ability of patients to engage in safety-related behaviors. These safety behaviors are developed to respond to the feeling of being threatened and include distraction, avoidance, checking, and preparation.
Whereas COVID-19 has substantially direct impacts on the country’s healthcare, its indirect impacts can dwarf the immediate effects. The major direct consequences of the pandemic are the loss of lives and an increased cost significantly to the country’s healthcare system. The treatment of COVID-19 patients like one in this practicum presents a financial impact on the healthcare system because it is an unforeseen cost. As a result, hospitals lose the lives of COVID-19 patients and lose revenues that could have been utilized in other areas within the healthcare system. Among people who seek treatment for the disease, a large proportion can only be provided with testing and basic services or treatment.
Additionally, some are hospitalized as they exhibit moderate and mild conditions. However, some of them are treated for severe infections. It is estimated that the government incurs about 5.3 billion dollars for every one million people that seek treatment for this disease (Atkeson, A. (2020). This is a big economic effect given that the government has to spend higher on health because this is a global crisis.
Self-quarantine is one of the initial methods applied in combating the spread of this disease. Although it is a preventive measure, it is associated with various costs, all borne by an individual. Alongside isolation, quarantine has left different negative psychological effects on individuals and communities. In addition, it results in a high level of anxiety, distress, and a feeling of lost control of oneself. Individuals have also had to incur costs related to travel to hospitals and treatment, which has led to financial losses and reduced essential supply. Further, it has led to the false sense of fear of contracting the disease, which only keeps worsening. These effects on individuals could lead to obsessive compulsiveness since individuals’ anxiety about their health can sometimes get to extreme levels. This may eventually result in adverse behaviors like temperature checking and cleaning excessively. It is also important to note at this point that all these effects are practical in the nursing practice.
Whom Did You Meet with?
It is important to note that throughout the care provision process for the patient, her family members were the ones interested and involved in her recovery. Specifically, her son and the son’s family members were particularly critical in providing the necessary assistance in both communication and support. It was reported by them that the adults were all vaccinated against COVID-19, which meant that only the children and the patient were unvaccinated. They claim that she has no major underlying problems, such as metabolic or chronic illnesses. In addition, they stated that the patient regularly meets her grandchildren on a daily basis because she has lived with them since her husband passed away.
Comment On the Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Documents or Websites
The review process of evidence-based practice documents and websites provided highly insightful data on the patient’s condition and COVID-19 in general. It was learned that the quality of care could be improved through the adoption of various strategies. The first strategy is improving access to care. This is important because patients must be allowed to access it first for patients to get quality care. Secondly, there should focus on engagement with patients because they can play a central role in managing their health. Thirdly, healthcare organizations should collaborate and connect with other organizations. Through research and learning from others, the organizations will improve their quality of care. Strategies that could improve patient safety range from building rapid response systems to the establishment of safety as well as health management systems. This means that administrators should allow employees in healthcare to be part of the decision-making processes to ensure that compliance to safety measures is encouraged.
It should be noted that COVID-19 is a problematic health issue due to the prevalence of a multitude of barriers. It is stated that the most common ones include the complexity of methods and unpredictability of tasks, stress at work, concerns about family, insufficient support of nurses, as well as limited information about the COVID-19 (Joo & Liu, 2021). In the case of the patient, the key barriers were related to limited information about the virus and concerns about family. The first barrier to information was manifested in the fact that the family members and the patient were not sufficiently informed about the policies and official recommendations from the health agencies. The cause is widespread misinformation online and the prevalence of unofficial sources of speculative and deceptive data. The second barrier on concerns was centered around the lack of knowledge about risk factors and exposure to viral elements. In other words, it was evident that both patient and family were not taking precautionary measures to protect the former since she belongs to a high-risk group due to her age.
Therefore, throughout the process of care provision, both family members and patients were informed about the significance and relevance of the problem. Since the barriers were present, educational approaches were implemented in order to reduce or minimize the impact of these issues. It is important to note that the family and patient showed a great deal of cooperation by agreeing with the provided information on necessary measures needed to secure the patient’s health and wellbeing.
Leadership, Collaboration, Communication, Change Management, And Policy
Leadership skills were critical in order to convey trustworthiness and deliver accurate information. It is stated that the peacemaker leadership style is highly effective when it comes to solving issues (Aquilia et al., 2020). It was especially important in the case of the patient and her family because they cared for each other but did not have knowledge on how to manifest this care in practice by ensuring the best quality of care, adapting to new situations, as well as making essential decisions (Akpan et al., 2021). Therefore, I employed a peacemaker leadership style by exhibiting creativity in the problem-solving initiative approach, and I also ensured that I interacted with stakeholders on the basis of mercy, kindness, fairness, honesty, and transparency.
In the case of collaborative and communication efforts, the emphasis was put on virtual aspects. It is stated that the virtual collaboration between medical professionals in an organization can substantially improve several aspects at once to provide the best care and support to the patient (Mitchell, 2021). In other words, online communication platforms were used to ensure a constant exchange of information between family members, patients, and healthcare professionals. When it comes to change management strategy, it should be noted that COVID-19 is a novel healthcare challenge, which is why support and training are essential (Kumar, 2020). Therefore, both elements were actively provided to the stakeholders on the basis of the strategic framework.
However, the most important approach was centered around educational measures in regards to policy. One should note that legal factors play a major role in protecting public health from the pandemic, which is why information needs to be delivered to both patients and their families. The top consideration is that of creation as well as promotion of COVID-19 vaccines. This consideration affects quality care, patient safety, and costs to individuals and the healthcare system. The creation of vaccines means that the disease will become preventable, and an individual will not have to incur the cost of treatment. Secondly, it also means that when the vaccines have been created, the healthcare system will not be overstretched by COVID-19 patients since some shall have been vaccinated, leaving the system to handle only a few with severe symptoms. Additionally, the creation and promotion of vaccines will ensure that patients will be vaccinated and will not need to be hospitalized. This would ensure care quality as well as patient safety. As a practitioner in the nursing field, it is important to consider these government policies as they will positively impact quality care patient safety and limit costs to both patients and the system.
Changes and What Might Have Been Done Differently
After the discussions, the main changes in the definition of the problem were made in regards to a more intricate understanding of safety and policies rather than educational and care-related matters. For instance, I learned that with safety compliance plans’ development, hospital administrators should ensure evaluation and monitoring of how strictly established policies are followed by all employees. Others include ensuring all employees understand safety policies, developing safety compliance plans, communicating to patients about safety information, and practicing patient-centered care. An individual can cut on healthcare costs by choosing healthcare plans that are right for them, taking care of their health, asking about available outpatient facilities, and planning for emergency and urgent care. On the other hand, the government can minimize costs incurred on healthcare by promoting completion with the private sector, enhancing regulation to reduce prices, and coming up with incentives that will reduce low-value care utilization.
In conclusion, COVID-19 is a new challenge that has tested the country’s healthcare systems and has presented an opportunity for evaluations on how they can adapt to such challenges in the future. The government has been quick in trying to support the systems for the public’s good. However, nurses are at the center of it all, and their contribution is in the light of day to be seen. This paper has evaluated how the profession contributes to the health services provisions and the role of federal and state legislations in enabling it to achieve this goal. One of the key government policy considerations that would significantly affect quality care, patient safety, and costs to individuals and the system in relation to COVID-19 is the development and promotion of vaccines.
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