Anorexia Nervosa Nursing Implications
Carl Albert State College
Department of Nursing
Health Illness III
Anorexia nervosa is a severe chronic disease that affects persons that refuse to put up with a body weight that is greater than 85% of the weight which is ordinarily expected for their age and height CITATION Mor14 l 1033 (Morgan & Lacey, 2014). Anorexia nervosa is an illness of starvation which occurs when individuals are severely disturbed by their body image and dread the thought of being obese. To prevent weight gain, these individuals starve themselves or exercise excessively. Nurses play a big role in facilitating the treatment and recovery of patients suffering from anorexia nervosa. Nurses are key to guiding and inspiring patients to take charge of their feeding habits. This paper seeks to discuss the various nursing implications associated with the treatment of anorexia nervosa.
The relationship between nurses and anorexia nervosa patients is vital to the recovery of these individuals. Nurses play a vital role in establishing and nurturing a therapeutic relationship with these patients. Therefore, nurses need to be empathetic, positive, trustworthy, nonjudgmental and committed in order to establish a therapeutic relationship with these patientsCITATION Zug17 l 1033 (Zugai, Parbury, & Roche, 2017). The relations between nurses and patients is influenced by factors such as experiences, insights and attitudes brought to the relationship by the nurses and their patients.
The development of a nursing care plan is key in guiding nurses in the treatment of anorexia nervosa patients. The nursing care plan involves identifying the patient’s existing needs and potential needs and risks CITATION Eri17 l 1033 (Erikson ; Dahlen, 2017). Additionally, this plan provides a means of communication between nurses and their patients in order to achieve the desired health care outcomes. Some of the care plans that nurses can come up with include determining the suitable nutritional intake, correcting their fluid and electrolyte imbalance, helping the patient to develop a reasonable body image and boosting the patient’s self-esteem.
Just like anorexia nervosa patients, nurses live in a society that is obsessed with body size and eating behaviors. Therefore, issues of body weight and shape may also have some meaning to nurses who are struggling with the same issue. Consequently, this may result in a feeling of humiliation and even envy of patients who stand for the idealized body size by the nurses. Consequently, this may result in the ignorance of the patient’s obsessive manners and cognitive falsifications.
On the other hand, it may be difficult for some nurses to understand why someone can starve themselves. The emaciated skinniness of anorexic patients can be very upsetting to see and may arouse feelings of resentment or desire to control and foster the patients back to health. These individuals may feel worried and also confused with why the patient does not eat which can in turn challenge their nursing core values.
Healthcare facilities should incorporate counselling sessions for nurses dealing with anorexia nervosa patients to enable them to understand exactly what the patients are going through and also help them to deal with their own dietary issues if they have them as well. This ensures that nurses move past judging their patients and focus on their full recovery.
Conclusively, Anorexia nervosa occurs when individuals starve themselves due to being severely disturbed by their body image and dread the thought of being obese or overweight. Nurses having dietary issues may judge or envy their patients factors which may affect their nursing core values. Therefore, it is necessary for hospitals to come up with counselling sessions to enable nurses to understand their patients. The treatment of this disease requires nurses to develop a strong therapeutic relationship with their patients. Developing nursing care plans is important in guiding nurses on how to offer treatment to their patients.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Erikson, M. S., ; Dahlen, J. (2017). Nurses’ Establishment of Health Promoting Relationships: A Descriptive Synthesis of Anorexia Nervosa Research. Journal of Child and Family Studies; 26 (1), 1-13. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5219017/.
Morgan, S. R., & Lacey, E. (2014). Rules of engagement: Qualititative experineces of therapeutic alliance when receiving in-patient treatment for anorexia nervosa. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 233-243.
Zugai, J. S., Parbury, J. S., & Roche, M. (2017). Therapeutic alliance, anorexia nervosa and the inpatient setting: A mixed methods study. Journal of Adanced Nursing, 74 (2), 443-453.