Choice of Nursing Care Delivery Model

by Amira Smale, June 2014

300 words

1 page


Patient care delivery models represent the variety of mechanisms used for organizing and delivering inpatient care. The models focus on structure, process, and outcomes. The main aim of any delivery system is to provide patients with effective and high quality health care (Neisner&Raymond, 2002). There are a few types of traditional delivery models, each having its advantages and disadvantages. It is difficult to determine which type is the most effective: each of them substitutes the previous one in order to improve nursing care under specific historical conditions. Furthermore, it will vary depending on the type of facility, set of patient circumstances, financial resources, and other factors.

Being the manager of a unit, I would choose functional nursing care delivery system, which is, basically, a task-oriented approach, in which individual nurses are not given specific patients to take care of, but are rather expected to perform specifically assigned for them tasks within their capability for all the patients in a given area. This approach embraces both licensed nursing staff and unlicensed assistive personnel, and typically subdivides the tasks between charge nurse, medication nurse, treatment nurse, and assisting staff, responsible for everyday comfort measures and hygiene activities (Neisner&Raymond, 2002).

The given delivery system has a number of advantages. Since all the tasks are distributed, nursing stuff can accomplish them during shorter period of time. As a result, patients will not have to wait long for their primary needs to be addressed. From this point of view, it proves to be an effective organizational model. Secondly, the specific type of stuff does what they are capable to do, having relative freedom of choosing the preferred activities and enjoying the job to a greater extent. Besides, there are no extraneous tasks that can be fulfilled by assistive personnel. Thirdly, the repetitive nature of only doing one and the same thing fosters the quick acquiring of the necessary skill and, thus, leading to performing the responsibilities more effectively. Finally, functional nursing may help in conserving costs and human resources, because fewer registered nurses are necessary.

On the other hand, the given model has a few disadvantages. It is often criticized for being too much task-oriented, leading to fragmentation of care and decreasing the amount of direct nursing provided by the registered nurse. Secondly, the charge nurse may find it difficult to coordinate all the activities of the staff, delegate the work-flow and at the same time report to doctors, especially when conflicts emerge. Thirdly, since patients do not have a separate identifiable nurse taking care of them, there is nobody fully responsible for the quality of care and, as a result, no definite accountability. Furthermore, functional model leads to impersonal relationship between the nurse and the patient. These problems may cause patients’ dissatisfaction, especially if something has not been performed on the highest level. Fourthly, in order to provide good care, all members should work in concord, which sometimes may not be achievable. Finally, it limits the professional growth of the registered nurses, since by performing …

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