Nursing education plays a critical role in shaping the healthcare system, and it is essential for future medical professionals to be equipped with transformative skills. The University of Akron’s Nursing School has taken a unique approach to educating its students on the importance of compassionate care. The program at Grace House, an organization that provides care and services to homeless women and children, has provided students with hands-on experience and invaluable lessons in care and compassion.

Learning Whole-Person Care at Grace House

The partnership between the University of Akron’s Nursing School and Grace House has been successful since its inception in 2018. Nursing students are assigned various tasks such as administering medication, taking vital signs, and providing assistance with daily activities. However, the program goes beyond providing practical knowledge; it emphasizes the importance of empathy and compassion in nursing.

Jody McGrath, the Director of the University of Akron’s School of Nursing, believes that the program helps students learn about whole-person care. Students learn to provide not only for patients’ physical needs but also their mental and social requirements. The objective is for students to become better-rounded nurses who understand the significance of addressing a patient’s overall well-being.

Lessons Learned: Empathy and Compassion in Nursing

The program at Grace House has been life-changing for many of the nursing students. It has made them appreciate the struggles of the homeless population and increased their awareness of the importance of advocating for them. The students’ interactions with the patients go beyond providing medical assistance; they are present and listen, and this has a positive impact on the residents at Grace House. The Volunteer Coordinator of Haven of Rest, Rebecca Nichols, revealed that the women at Grace House appreciated the interactions they had with the nursing students.

Kayla Gross, a nursing student who participated in the program, emphasized that the experience helped her understand that the interaction with the patients needs to go beyond providing medical assistance. She understood that being present and listening also played a significant role in improving the wellness of the patients.

Overcoming Challenges: The Significance of Whole-Person Care

The program at Grace House has been successful in providing students with a unique experience to learn about whole-person care. However, the journey towards providing transformative care extends beyond nursing education. It involves addressing the challenges faced by homeless populations, such as a lack of access to healthcare and shelter.

Conclusion: The Importance of Compassionate Care in Nursing

In conclusion, nursing education must focus on more than providing practical knowledge to future medical professionals. It should emphasize the significance of whole-person care and compassionate care. The partnership between the University of Akron’s Nursing School and Grace House has provided nursing students with invaluable lessons in empathy and compassion, and it has the potential to make a positive impact on the healthcare system. With continued efforts to address the challenges faced by homeless populations, the nursing profession can contribute to making a difference in the lives of those in need.