The Role of a Nurse in Chronic Illness Management

Introduction: Putting the Plan into Practice

Improving the quality of life for patients with chronic diseases is a crucial task that a nurse must be able to complete. Therefore, it will be imperative to design a set of guidelines to which nurses can adhere to meet the needs of patients with chronic diseases (LeRoy et al., 2014). For the project to be accomplished, it should be implemented as a twofold process. Particularly, the change should occur in the communication between a nursed and a patient, as well as in the acquisition of the relevant skills and knowledge by the nurse; thus, the premises for maintaining the patients’ well-being will be created successfully.

It is important to promote continuous learning as the paradigm for the interactions between a nurse and a patient seeing that the needs of the latter depend on a variety of factors including the patient’s cultural, social, and economic background, Therefore, the process of acquiring information about the characteristics of the target population must be consistent and unceasing for a nurse. Patients, in their turn, need to acquire the information, knowledge, and skills related to their condition so that they could handle the disease and the associated issues more efficiently (Lavesen et al., 2016).

It could be argued that the provision of independence to the target population will allow the enhancement of self-management and, therefore, help the patients control their experiences successfully. As a result, the process of managing the needs of patients with chronic illnesses is expected to improve significantly. Put differently, the emphasis must be placed on the enhancement of communication and learning among nurses and patients alike. Thus, change can occur in the identified setting, and the quality of patients’ life will be improved significantly.

Implementation: A Step-by-Step Guideline

The change will be implemented in the target setting my introducing a twofold program aimed at improving the competencies of nurses and enhancing the process of knowledge and skills acquisition by the patient. Thus, the prerequisites for continuous improvement of care will be created. The implementation will include five primary stages.

Building a team of nurse educators (NEs), who will help patients with chronic diseases and the nurses that cater to their needs acquire and train the needed skills, is the first step toward success. NEs will encourage the target groups to develop curiosity and motivation to learn so that the quality of services could improve. Consistent training will also be provided to nurses to help them develop skills such as empathy, responsiveness, and emotional intelligence for recognizing the needs of patients with chronic diseases fast (Evans et al., 2015).

The enhancement of the connection between a patient and a nurse will become the next stage of the implementation process. For this purpose, the principles of the patient-centered approach will be introduced into the target setting. Consequently, the patient will feel inclined to develop the necessary skills, i.e., the identification of a problem, the search for the available resources, and the communication with the nurse.

Teaching the patients self-management techniques and providing nurses with a rigid set of guidelines for meeting the needs of the target population should be the next step. Control and supervision will be carried out throughout the implementation process, which will end with an assessment of results and the identification of implications for further change.

Time Frame: How Long It Takes to Make a Difference

It is expected that the project will be accomplished within four months. Naturally, it would be wrong to assume that the entire nursing environment will be reinvented by the said deadline. However, the seed of change will be planted, and the framework with which nurses will be able to comply when managing the needs of patients with chronic diseases will be designed. Furthermore, it is expected that the first results will be observed soon after the identified strategy is deployed.

The training sessions for nurses will supposedly be designed within a month. It will also take a month to train the nurses so that they could acquire the relevant skills, including the use of emotional intelligence (EI), the ability to apply the standard chronic disease management techniques, the establishment of a dialogue with the patient, etc. Afterward, the transition to the third stage will occur (Shahnavazi, Yekta, Rigi, & Yekaninejad, 2016).

The third part of the program will require that the patients should be provided with the necessary information and taught the essential skills. Furthermore, the focus on building a bond between a nurse and a patient will be kept. It will be crucial to make sure that the target population should gain enough independence and confidence (Negble, Agbenorku, Ampomah, & Hoyte-Williams, 2014).

It should be borne in mind that rigid control over the entire process should take place throughout the process. Thus, the essential changes will be monitored, and the possible hiccups in the program implementation should be spotted at the earliest stages of their development. Afterward, the retrieved data will be analyzed to improve the program. The implementation will end with the assessment of the changes and the identification of its strengths and weaknesses.

Budget: Allocating the Future Costs

One must admit that the project is bound to be rather costly because of the necessity to design the training courses for nurses, as well as shape the current standards toward chronic disease management so that the needs of the target population could be met most efficiently. As Table 1 shows, the total budget is expected to make at least $450,100.

Table 1. Project Costs.

Personnel

Item # Position/Title Weekly Salary Total
1 Nurse educator $1,500 $24,000
2 Nurse administrator $2,000 $32,000
3 Supervisor $2,000 $32,000

Total

$ 88,000

Consumable Supplies

Item #

Supplies & Equipment

Costs
4 Equipment for training the staff $200,000
5 Communication tools $200,000

Section Total

$400,000

Other Costs

Item #

Miscellaneous

Costs
9 Phone calls $100
10 Training materials $2,000

Section Total

$2,100

TOTAL PROJECT BUDGET REQUEST

$ 450,100

Reducing the costs may become a possibility if the principles of sustainable use of resources are used. By using cheaper options and free opportunities when designing the learning sessions (e.g., incorporating social media into the set of tools for information management and dispersion of the crucial data), one will be able to reduce the expenses to a considerable degree.

Resources and Statistical Tools: The Focus on Sustainability

As stressed above, it will be necessary to keep the project costs to a minimum. However, the project resources will include not only the equipment and financial assets but also IT tools. Particularly, the participants will need access to the Internet and the scholarly databases that will provide essential information about the current approaches toward pain management, the relevant theories, etc. furthermore, it will be crucial to use secure, password-protected databases for storing patients’ personal information and records. Thus, the premises for the successful management of the needs of the target population can be created.

Additionally, the use of statistical packages should be viewed as a necessity since a large amount of data will have to be processed. With a smaller number of patients, manual calculations could be used to determine the effects of the program. However, seeing that the research includes many participants and will require a statistical analysis of the data, it will be essential to acquire the statistical package that will help carry out the assessment accurately.

Conclusion: Expected Outcomes and Implications for Practice

Patients with chronic diseases face a range of challenges daily, and their needs range from the development of the proper pain management skills to the acquisition of the latest information about their problem and the means of handling it. Patient independence and successful management of chronic patients’ needs can be attained by designing the courses that will help both nurses and patients to engage in the active acquisition of the required knowledge and skills.

While nurses will be encouraged to learn more about the significance of cultural diversity and the identification of unique characteristics of the target population, patients will understand the importance of developing independence in chronic disease management. Therefore, the program is expected to improve the quality of patients’ life, as well as the competency of nurses in addressing the needs of people with a chronic illness. Furthermore, the foundation for designing a new multicultural approach toward managing chronic patients’ needs can be built.

References

Evans, J. M., Matheson, G., Buchman, S., MacKinnon, M., Meertens, E., Ross, J., & Johal, H. (2015). Integrating Cancer care beyond the hospital and across the cancer pathway: A patient-centered approach. Healthcare Quarterly, 17(1), 28-32.

Lavesen, M., Ladelund, S., Frederiksen, A. J., Lindhardt, B. O., & Overgaard, D. (2016). Nurse-initiated telephone follow-up on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease improves patient empowerment, but cannot prevent readmissions. Danish Medical Journal, 63(10), 1-5.

LeRoy, L., Shoemaker, S. J., Levin, J. S., Weschler, C. A., Schaefer, J., & Genevro, J. L. (2014). Self-management support resources for nurse practitioners and clinical teams. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 10(2), 88-93.

Negble, M., Agbenorku, P., Ampomah, E. A., & Hoyte-Williams, P. E. (2014). Nursing severe burn injury patients: Emotional impact on nurses. International Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences, 47(1), 1430-1433.

Shahnavazi, M., Yekta, Z. P., Rigi, F., & Yekaninejad, M. S. (2016). The relationship between emotional intelligence and quality of life hemodialysis patients. International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences, 5(7), 564-570.