INTRODUCTION

A patient is not a passive object on which we perform nursing care procedures.  A patient should never be thought of, or discussed, as merely a condition or injury.  It is not acceptable to think of, or refer to, your patient as "the gallbladder" or "the fractured hip" or "the bleeding ulcer."  A patient is much more than the condition that brought him to the hospital.  A patient is a human being, possessing physical and emotional needs and wants.

 The relationship between the patient and the nursing staff is extremely dynamic and personal.  The patient places his trust in the nursing staff and they, in return, must utilize all their knowledge and skills to ensure the patient's wellbeing and assist in his return to good health and independence.  This is accomplished by developing a therapeutic relationship between the patient, his family, and the health care professionals.

 The nursing paraprofessional relates very closely with the patient and his family by virtue of his participation in providing nursing care and his presence at the bedside.  It is often the nursing paraprofessional who makes the initial observation that something is not as it should be.  Nursing paraprofessionals who are responsible, educated, and observant are assets to the therapeutic environment necessary for patient recovery.  To help foster this therapeutic environment, the nursing paraprofessional must do the following:

 The purpose of this course is to enhance your knowledge of medical surgical nursing care related to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and the role of the nursing paraprofessional in providing that care.