The benefits of the involvement into the direct patient care are undeniable. Active participation in the patient care activities gives a unique opportunity to increase the students’ proficiency in managing drug therapy problems.
Nevertheless, there is a number of practical barriers to cultivating productive patient care experiences for students. These issues are generally related to students’ readiness for advanced clinical experiences, competing priorities of the health care institutions to meet other responsibilities not related to student education, and logistical problems related to individual practice sites.
There is a number of approaches for providing direct patient care. However, only a few of them turned out to be successful and productive. Patient’s assessment plays the leading role in the following care process. Assessment of a patient is performed to find out what is wrong with him/her, and constitutes a basis for decisions about emergency medical care and transport. An objective assessment of a patient should take into account a wide variety of factors. The box represented in the book by Rubenfeld and Scheffer (2010, sec. 2-3) represents a powerful tool for the effective assessment and medical care planning. Speaking to a person is one of the basic means to find out the real health condition of him/her. There are five basic approaches which a medical personnel can potentially use when speaking to a patient: sociocentrism (opinion based on the professional community), egocentrism (opinion based on the own speculations and understanding), wish fulfillment (describes the potentially desired results as reality), egotism, and self-validation (Rubenfeld, Scheffer, 2010).
This box influenced my attitude to the patients as well. I understood how important it is to switch to sociocentrism, as this approach is the most comfortable for both a medical worker and a treated person. Such approach involves not only the personal experience of a doctor, but provides the background of the whole medical community of a particular health care institution as well (Hibbard, 2004).
Students integrated into direct patient care environments can be expected to gain firsthand experience. Such experiences are essential for the development and advancement of patient care skills.