Evidence suggests that patients do better when their expectations about specific benefits of nursing care are discussed and met. Design a “comfort contract” whereby patients or their surrogates designate an expected level of postsurgical overall comfort, and also where they can specify chronic discomforts and interventions that they use at home for relief.
It is widely acknowledged that patients often experience anxiety and uncertainty about their upcoming surgeries, and their expectations about the care they receive during their hospital stay can have a significant impact on their recovery. Studies have shown that when patients’ expectations about specific benefits of nursing care are discussed and met, they tend to experience better outcomes. In this essay, we will explore the concept of a “comfort contract” and how it can be used to improve patient outcomes.
A comfort contract is a written agreement between patients (or their surrogates) and healthcare providers that outlines specific expectations for comfort during and after surgery. It is a tool that can help patients feel more in control of their care and provide healthcare providers with clear guidelines on how to meet their patients’ needs. The contract would include two main components: an expected level of postsurgical overall comfort and a list of chronic discomforts and interventions that patients use at home for relief.
The expected level of postsurgical overall comfort would be a subjective rating scale, such as a visual analog scale or a numerical rating scale, where patients rate their expected level of comfort after surgery. This rating would be based on a discussion between the patient and their healthcare provider about their previous experiences with pain and discomfort, as well as their preferences for pain management strategies. The healthcare provider would then work with the patient to create a personalized pain management plan that aligns with their expectations.
The second component of the comfort contract would be a list of chronic discomforts and interventions that patients use at home for relief. This list would include any chronic pain or discomfort that patients experience on a regular basis, such as back pain or migraines, and any non-pharmacological interventions that they use for relief, such as massage or meditation. This information would be valuable for healthcare providers, as it would allow them to tailor their care to the patient’s specific needs and preferences.
To ensure that the comfort contract is effective, it is important to involve patients and their surrogates in the development process. Patients should be encouraged to provide feedback on the contract, including suggestions for how it could be improved. Healthcare providers should also regularly review the contract with patients to ensure that it remains up-to-date and relevant.
In conclusion, evidence suggests that patients do better when their expectations about specific benefits of nursing care are discussed and met. A comfort contract can be an effective tool for improving patient outcomes by providing clear guidelines for pain management and addressing chronic discomforts. By involving patients and their surrogates in the development process, healthcare providers can ensure that the contract is personalized and effective in meeting the unique needs of each patient.