Therapeutic Nurse-Patient Relationship

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Challenges of Establishing a Therapeutic Nurse-Patient Relationship in Obese Patients Obesity is a major problem in the United States today. Neil (2015) relates social factors of obesity with how society, which includes health care professionals, sees overweight persons. There is a stigmatization that is associated with being obese. This stigmatization of being obese results in a lack of respect (Neil 2015. p 2-3). This lack of respect can make the patient become self-conscious and closed off. As a nurse, one must take this into consideration when caring for a patient who is extremely over weight. When such a patient is seeking care, they frequently become even more vulnerable due to a new environment and stress, therefore making it more difficult …show more content…

Giese, (2015) claims that it is the nurses role to provide professional, culturally safe care and apparent acceptance of the patient who is obese (Giese, 2015. P1). It is common in society, including health professionals, to have a harsh and negative view of an obese person. A nurse must ultimately make an obese patient feel at ease and respected in the healthcare setting where they are often most vulnerable. In doing this, it creates the trusting nurse-patient relationship. However, many challenges often arise when trying to achieve this therapeutic relationship. As Drake et al. (2008) found, nurse’s themselves identified that one’s attitude is a major barrier when giving care to the obese patient (Drake et al. 2008. p 11-12). The nurse can have an altered and often an overall negative perception of the obese patient which can cause an untrusting relationship along with inadequate care. Thus, it is important that the nurse maintains professionalism. Professionalism of the nurse can be achieved by having the perception that caring for an obese patient is no different than a patient possessing a different disease. Jeffrey and Kitto (2006) state that in their study, the nursing profession is a non-judgmental career in the eyes of the public (Jeffrey & Kitto 2006. p.6). Hence, nurses are in the best position to create a trusting, therapeutic nurse-patient relationship. So, the right perception of the obese patient can begin with the right attitude, that is, all patients come with their own unique

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