Assessment is the mainstay of nursing, it is the basis of all ongoing plans. It informs, and if robustly undertaken with the patient at the centre, can be facilitative in many ways. It relies on the holistic overview of the individual at a point where they are at now, prior to current touchpoint with healthcare services, as well as where they are anticipating that the they will will be going forward.
It is possible to slip into siloed thinking with some frameworks, as although often holistic completing does not necessarily facilitate a consideration of how they interlink, one aspect impacting on the other - that comes with practice and skill. Whilst models are helpful, they are not to be undertaken in isolation, without fully understanding how systems are linked. This informs the questions to be asked and being mindful of the matrix of enquiry creates the holistic overview.
What is being assessed, and guiding the assessment process is paramount, as without self-awareness, it is possible to limit the assessment with assumption and misguided focus. If for example someone is coming into the healthcare with a physical issue, the focus for the individual may be the psychological impact that is most disruptive, whilst being resilient to a condition that may have been an aspect of their lives for some time, or not deemed as consequential.
With all nursing, the assessment is so crucial in fully understanding what is going on for the individual. How their current presenting issues impact on the day to day functioning in their lives, it is essential to fully understand, and also to explore ability is an appropriate element.
The assessment is a powerful multi facetted tool requiring skill and knowledge - embrace it from the first day of nursing and all the rest will fall into place in all paths that open up to you.
Jane Cadman - Here are my thoughts, observations and insights...