Strengths-based nursing (SBN) is an approach to care in which eight core values which guide nursing action, thereby promoting empowerment, hope and self-efficacy. In caring for patients and families, the nurse focuses on their inner and outer strengths-that is, on what patients and families do that best helps them deal with problems and minimize deficits. SBN creating environments and experiences that better enable patients and their families to take control over their lives and health care decisions.
SBN respects a person’s self-knowledge and values choice and self-determination, even though there are always limits to the choices available and a person’s ability to act in her or his own interest is affected by circumstances, knowledge, and predisposition. it is as important to consider patients’ deficits as it is to consider their strengths; both are essential aspects of the whole person. The current health care system is changing into a new system that focuses more on community-based and primary care with the hospitals forming the pillar of the health care system although they are not the primary service (Lind and Smith, 2008). This change has brought about a strength based nursing care which is aimed at developing an individual’s strength to encourage and help in healing. From the perspective of SBN, the nurse’s role is to help patients achieve their goals in the healthiest possible way.
SBN sees the nurse’s role not as deciding for others but rather as listening attentively and deeply in order to clarify, elaborate, explain, provide information, make suggestions, connect people with resources, and advocate for patients and their families so they may hear their own voices and make their voices heard. Strengths-Based Care (SBC) requires that the nurse use a process to uncover the person’s concerns, get to know the patient and members of the family as individuals, and discover their strengths in order to plan and carry out nursing care.
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Nurses require strong nursing leadership to enable them practice strength-based nursing care. Strength based nursing care has a prospective of becoming a game changer in nursing and also revolutionize healthcare. In this approach the focus is redirected from shortages and crisis to use of strength of resources to deal with problems and overcome any shortcomings (Gottlieb, 2012). The medical model need not be a deficit model. The two are not mutually exclusive. Physicians can diagnose and treat problems and also have a strengths perspective and practice whole-person care.
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