Functional nursing is a task-oriented approach to delivering care. Tasks are delegated to individual members of the team. The team members are focused on their specific task(s) instead of the total patient. Advantages to this approach are that tasks can be done in a shorter amount of time, but disadvantages can include fragmented care, and nurses accountability and responsibility decrease with this approach.
Team nursing is an approach where the team is led by a team leader (usually a registered nurse) who is knowledgeable about the patients and in charge of evaluating the patient’s care plans. The leader assigns patients to the team members, who are accountable for the patient care and outcomes. The nurses who are assigned the patients then delegate tasks to the technicians or nurse's aides, within their scope of practice. Advantages to this model are that each patient receives individualized care, and that every member of the team can contribute to decision making. Disadvantages include that the nurse is still responsible for duties being performed without performing them personally.
Primary nursing is also known as relationship-based practice, and this model focuses on keeping the nurse at bedside, actively involved in patient care. In this model, one primary nurse is responsible for managing the client’s care while in the hospital, from admission to discharge. An advantage to this model is that there is a strong development of the patient-nurse relationship, as trust and rapport are established. Another advantage is nursing accountability, because there is no ambiguity about who is responsible for the patient's care plan. A disadvantage to this model is that there are not always enough registered nurses available for every patient to have a primary nurse.
Total patient care or patient-focused care is a model where the registered nurse takes on total responsibility for planning and delivering care to the patient for the assigned time period.
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