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As nurses, we want to provide the best care possible, but what does that look like? How do we know that what we are doing is the best practice for our patients? Is the care we provide focused on hospital regulations, the routines of the nurses, the conveniences of the doctors, or the needs of the patient and his or her family?
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, patient care was so hospital centric that fathers were not allowed in the delivery room, patients were routinely subjected to unnecessary painful and often dangerous procedures, and mothers and babies were routinely separated after birth. We need to re-think the way we provide care, based on evidence, focused on the patient and driven by patient outcomes. There are some forward thinking individuals who have begun to lead the way.
Do some research on the practice of patient-centered care. Think about how you would want to be cared for if you were the patient, or if your loved one were the patient. What is meant by the terms mother friendly and baby friendly? How can nurses facilitate patient and family focused care?