Helping Patients With Physical Illness Cope With Hospitalization: Implication For The Nurses And Medical Social Workers In Meeting The Physical And Psycho-Social Needs Of The Patients
AbstractHospitalization is a source of stress. Therefore the paper examined how
hospitalization is a stressful or painful experience to the physically ill patients. It also described some aspects of hospitalization that usually cause a great deal of emotional distress in the patients, such as financial, material, emotional and other forms of social support, lack of adequate information about the nature of hospital, illness and medical treatment as well as other problems. The paper also discussed the various ways by which the nurses and medical social workers can help the patients cope successfully with their hospitalization. These include provision of adequate and useful information to the patients on admission about medical facilities, helping the patients to recognize the nature and symptoms of
their illness, allaying the fear and anxiety of the patients about outcomes of medical treatments (surgical operation and death), providing support for patients’ psychological adjustment to hospitalization and encouraging the patients to get well. It was recommended in the paper that the nurses and the medical social workers should respond positively and promptly to the physical and psychosocial needs of the patients in order to help them cope favourably with their hospitalization, respond well to medical treatment and recover quickly from their illness.