Advisory role and responsibilities of nurses in patient support programs (PSP)
Nurses represent the largest group of healthcare professionals. According to the Croatian Nursing Council, approx. 35,000 nurses are registered in the Republic of Croatia. The roles of nurses and their job descriptions have changed significantly and steadily in recent decades, and nursing has evolved into a discipline that requires knowledge and skills while constantly facing new challenges.
Roles of nurses in patient care
Nursing is, for the most part, synonymous with caring for patients. However, the role of nursing is much greater: from providing health care, educating patients, research and collaboration with physicians and the entire medical team to cooperating with the patient’s family and advocating for patients’ rights. All international documents related to healthcare policy emphasise the importance of nurses in disease prevention programs, health education, and the organisation of nursing services.
More recently, the advisory role of nurses in the form of educating patients and their families is becoming even more important. This is one of the most common interventions nurses employ in the healthcare process with the aim of achieving greater patient independence, satisfactory quality of life of patients and their immediate families, and promoting health.
It is important to emphasise that the following parties participate in the education process:
- Family / social environment
Influence of nurses on patients’ emotional state
Every hospital stay (regardless of the diagnosis) causes emotional difficulties and often feelings of sadness. Uncertainty itself can last for days or even weeks, and if patients are alone, this can lead to more severe emotional problems. It is not uncommon for negative emotions to adversely affect the disease course and outcome, length of hospital stay, and effectiveness of applied treatment.
It is important to encourage the patient to participate in and plan their treatment, have positive thoughts, and regularly visit the hospital or take therapy at home.
How nurse expertise ensures PSP success
Marti Farm puts special emphasis on patient–nurse communication when designing patient support programs because we believe that a better treatment outcome can be achieved by allowing the patient to directly contact a healthcare professional, in this case nurses who monitors patients, most often from the time of their diagnosis and later during the entire treatment cycle.
Our programs are customised according to the type of disease and the therapy administration method; therefore, each program is different. Of course, patients are always the most important element and have priority over other specifics. For our programs, we select only highly specialised nurses from day hospitals who are in regular contact with patients and know them well.
From the first meeting with patients, when nurses offer them the possibility of participating in a support program and after they sign an informed consent form (which is necessary for taking part in the program), nurses remain in contact with patients through various channels:
- Face to face (F2F) when the patient arrives at the hospital for therapy
- Phone calls
- Text messages (SMS) that nurses send to patients as a reminder to visit the outpatient clinic for therapy or take their therapy at home.
Patient support programs during pandemics
Due to the ongoing pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 and the necessity to maintain contact with patients despite social distancing, the ability to make phone calls and send text messages to patients has shown to be extremely useful, and feedback from the field confirms that patients are very satisfied with the services they are provided.
How meetings with nurses contribute to patient care
The benefits of having meetings with a nurse are multiple for both the nurse and the patient. Nurses supplement patient care with lifestyle recommendations:
- How to find a balanced diet
- How to achieve a higher energy level
- How to better manage stress
- How to better control pain
- How to achieve better communication with family/friends.
Patients are able to seek help from a nurse:
- When administering therapy, in which case the nurse can fully instruct the patient on how to administer their therapy (depending on the diagnosis and method of drug administration, nurses show patients how to properly administer the drug using various equipment)
- Patients can call their nurse at a specific time, which is very important because it reduces the patients’ feelings of anxiety, worry, and restlessness. In other words, patients feel that they are not “merely a number”; instead, they have at their disposal a real person who fully understands them.
Well-designed and properly implemented patient support programs can solve the problem of non-adherence to therapy and unsatisfactory treatment outcomes as well as reduce additional costs for the healthcare system. In a patient support program, the most important thing is to put the patient first, and this is made possible by nurses who have dedicated their professional life to patient care.
It is important to approach each patient and their diagnosis individually, gain the patient’s trust, and empower them for further treatment. All of this is essential in providing support to patients and their families.
You can find out more about how to implement a patient support program on our website https://martifarm.com/patient-support-programs/.
Danijela Grizelj, MSc / Patient Support Program Coordinator
- Croatian Nursing Council (HKMS). Available at: https://www.hkms.hr/
- Patient education in nursing. Available at: https://www.nursingcenter.com/
Lašćinska cesta 40
Planinska ulica 13/2
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Full company name
Short company name
Marti Farm Ltd. Trade and Services
Marti Farm Ltd.
Lašćinska cesta 40, HR-10000 Zagreb
Planinska ulica 13/2, HR-10000 Zagreb
a limited liability company
Commercial Court of Zagreb
HRK 20,000.00 (paid in its entirety)
Martina Diminić Smetiško, director of the
company (Representing the company
individually and independently, Responsible
person for data protection)
HR3623600001102197724 (Zagrebačka banka)
HR4324020061100628669 (Erste banka)
Full company name: Marti Farm Ltd. Trade and Services
Short company name: Marti Farm Ltd.
Headquarters: Lašćinska cesta 40, HR-10000 Zagreb
Office: Planinska ulica 13/2, HR-10000 Zagreb
Legal form: a limited liability company
Court register: Commercial Court of Zagreb
Registration number: 080751121
Share capital: HRK 20,000.00 (paid in its entirety)
Authorized representative: Martina Diminić Smetiško, director of the company (Representing the company individually and independently, Responsible person for data protection)
Bank account: HR3623600001102197724 (Zagrebačka banka), HR4324020061100628669 (Erste banka)