Caring: Nurse-Patient Perceptions


College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208.


Evidence suggests patients will follow through with self-care more readily and will cope with the stress of illness and disability better when they feel their needs are understood. This descriptive study identified the perceptions of rehabilitation patients (N = 26) and nurses (N = 26) of the most and least important nurse caring behaviors. Using the Caring Assessment Report Evaluation Q-Sort (CAREQ), both patients and nurses ranked as the most important item “knows when to call the doctor” and “monitors and follows through” as the most important subscale. Demonstrated competency of skills and accessibility preceded the patient's need for a trusting relationship and comfort, which was different from what the nurses predicted. Results differ from other professional nurses' perceptions of important nurse caring behaviors, but are similar to other studies of hospitalized patients' perceptions of caring. The greatest implication for practice is for nurses to validate the effect their intended caring had on their patients.