Reconceptualizing the Nurse-Patient Relationship

Authors

  • Bonnie M. Hagerty,

    Corresponding author
    1. Bonnie M. Hagerty, RN, PhD, CS, Rho, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
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  • Kathleen L. Patusky

    1. Kathleen L. Patusky, RN, PhD, CS, Lambda, Consultant, PsyMentor Associates, Canton, MI, and Lecturer, School of Nursing University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
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Dr. Hagerty, 2352 NIB, School of Nursing, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. E-mail: bmkh@umich.edu

Abstract

Purpose: To review assumptions inherent in the nurse-patient relationship as historically described and practiced, and to propose an alternate framework for nurse-patient interaction that is congruent with current health care environments.

Organizing Constructs: The theory of human relatedness and the nurse-patient relationship.

Methods: Analysis of assumptions inherent in the current theoretical and empirical literature on nurse-patient relationships and evidence from observation of nurses engaged in practice. Proposal and discussion of the theory of human relatedness as an alternative model for conceptualizing nurse-patient relationships.

Conclusions: The theory of human relatedness framework provides new insights and opportunities for assessment, intervention, and research within the context of nurse-patient relationships.

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