'Knowing the patient': a review of research on an emerging concept


  • Laurel E Radwin PhD RN

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, College of Health Professions, University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
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Dr L E Radwin, 44 High Street Chelmsford, MA 01824, USA


Knowing the patient is an important concept emerging from recent studies of nursing practice The concept is relevant to therapeutic decision-making Also, knowing the patient actualizes a cherished value in nursing the treatment of persons as unique individuals Investigators described that knowing the patient comprises two components the nurse's understanding of the patient and the selection of individualized interventions In addition, the nurse's experience with caring for patients, chronological time and a sense of closeness between the patient and nurse, are three factors consistently related to knowing the patient The concept has implications for practice, including that knowing the patient may result m positive patient outcomes Also, expert nurse decision-making may be characterized by knowing the patient Recommendations for further research in this area include the clarification and refinement of the concept, as well as the examination of relationships between knowing the patient and outcomes of care