Assignment: Staffing To Improve Patient Satisfaction
Assignment: Staffing To Improve Patient Satisfaction
Select a topic for your Topic 3 Executive Summary assignment. Post your idea and basic thoughts about the topic using the Topic 3 Executive Summary assignment details. You should provide thoughts to your peers about their topics and ideas that may assist them in completing their projects.
truly sick person was weak and helpless and could not fulfill the duties that were normally expected of a member of the
community. In such cases, someone had to watch over the patient, nurse him or her, and provide care. In most societies, this nurse role was filled by a family member, usually female. As in most cultures, the childbearing woman had special needs that often resulted in a specialized role for the caregiver. Every society since the dawn of time had someone to nurse and take care of the mother and infant around the childbearing events. In whatever form the nurse took, the role was associated with compassion, health promotion, and kindness (Bullough & Bullough, 1978).
Classical Era More than 4,000 years ago, Egyptian physicians and nurses used an abundant pharmacologic repertoire to cure the ill and injured. The Ebers Papyrus lists more than 700 remedies for ailments ranging from snakebites to puerperal fever (Kalisch & Kalisch, 1986). Healing appeared in the Egyptian culture as the successful result of a contest between invisible beings of good and evil (Shryock, 1959). Around 1000 B.C., the Egyptians constructed elaborate drainage systems, developed pharmaceutical herbs and preparations, and embalmed the dead. The Hebrews formulated an elaborate hygiene code that dealt with laws governing both personal and community hygiene, such as contagion, disinfection, and sanitation through the preparation of food and water. The Jewish contribution to health is greater in sanitation than in their concept of disease. Garbage and excreta were disposed of outside the city or camp, infectious diseases were quarantined, spitting was outlawed as unhygienic, and bodily cleanliness became a prerequisite for moral purity. Although many of the Hebrew ideas about hygiene were Egyptian in origin, the Hebrews were the first to codify them and link them with spiritual godliness (Bullough & Bullough, 1978).
Disease and disability in the Mesopotamian area were considered a great curse, a divine punishment for grievous acts against the gods. Experiencing illness as punishment for a sin linked the sick person to anything even remotely deviant. Not only was the person suffering from the illness but also he or she also was branded by society as having deserved it. Those who obeyed God’s law lived in health and happiness, and those who transgressed the law were punished with illness and suffering. The sick person then had to make atonement for the sins, enlist a priest or other spiritual healer to lift the curse, or live with the illness to its ultimate outcome (Bullough & Bullough, 1978). Nursing care by a family member or relative would be needed, regardless of the outcome of the sin, curse, disease-atonement-recovery, or death cycle. This logic became the basis for explanation of why some people “get sick and some don’t” for many centuries and still persists to some degree in most cultures today.
The Greeks and Health In Greek mythology, the god of medicine, Asclepias, cured disease. One of his daughters, Hygieia, from whom we derive the word hygiene, was the goddess of preventive health and protected humans from disease. Panacea, Asclepias’ other
daughter, was known as the all-healing “universal remedy,” and today her name is used to describe any ultimate cure-all in medicine. She was known as the “light” of the day, and her name was invoked and shrines built to her during times of epidemics (Brooke, 1997).
During the Greek era, Hippocrates of Cos emphasized the rational treatment of sickness as a natural rather than a god-inflicted phenomenon. Hippocrates (460–370 B.C.) is considered the father of medicine because of his arrangements of the oral and written remedies and diseases, which had long been secrets held by priests and religious healers, into a textbook of medicine that was used for centuries (Bullough & Bullough, 1978).
In Greek society, health was considered to result from a balance between mind and body. Hippocrates wrote a most important book, Air, Water, and Places, which detailed the relationship between humans and the environment. This is considered a milestone in the eventual development of the science of epidemiology as the first such treatise on the connectedness of the web of life. This topic of the relationship between humans and their environment did not recur until the development of bacteriology in the late 1800s (Rosen, 1958).
Perhaps the idea that most damaged the practice and scientific theory of medicine and health for centuries was the doctrine of the four humors, first spoken of by Empedocles of Acragas (493–433 B.C.). Empedocles was a philosopher and a physician, and as a result, he synthesized his cosmologic ideas with his medical theory. He believed that the same four elements that made up the universe were found in humans and in all animate beings (Bullough & Bullough, 1978). Empedocles believed that man [sic] was a microcosm, a small world within the macrocosm, or external environment. The four humors of the body (blood, bile, phlegm, and black bile) corresponded to the four elements of the larger world (fire, air, water, and earth) (Kalisch & Kalisch, 1986). Depending on the prevailing humor, a person was sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, or melancholic. Because of this strongly held and persistent belief in the connection between the balance of the four humors and health status, treatment was aimed at restoring the appropriate balance of the four humors through the control of their corresponding elements. Through manipulating the two sets of opposite qualities—hot and cold, wet and dry—balance was the goal of the intervention. Fire was hot and dry, air was hot and wet, water was cold and wet, and earth was cold and dry. For example, if a person had a fever, cold compresses would be prescribed; for a chill the person would be warmed. Such doctrine gave rise to faulty and ineffective treatment of disease that influenced medical education for many
years (Taylor, 1922). Plato, in The Republic, details the importance of recreation, a balanced mind and
body, nutrition, and exercise. A distinction was made among gender, class, and health as early as the Greek era; only males of the aristocracy could afford the luxury of maintaining a healthful lifestyle (Rosen, 1958).
In The Iliad, a poem about the attempts to capture Troy and rescue Helen from her lover, Paris, 140 different wounds are described. The mortality rate averaged 77.6%, the highest as a result of sword and spear thrusts and the lowest from superficial arrow wounds. There was considerable need for nursing care, and Achilles, Patroclus, and other princes often acted as nurses to the injured. The early stages of Greek medicine reflected the influences of Egyptian, Babylonian, and Hebrew medicine. Therefore, good medical and nursing techniques were used to treat these war wounds: The arrow was drawn or cut out, the wound washed, soothing herbs applied, and the wound bandaged. However, in sickness in which no wound occurred, an evil spirit was considered the cause. The Greeks applied rational causes and cures to external injuries, whereas internal ailments continued to be linked to spiritual maladies (Bullough & Bullough, 1978).
Roman Era During the rise and the fall of the Roman era (31 B.C.–A.D. 476), Greek culture continued to be a strong influence. The Romans easily adopted Greek culture and expanded the Greeks’ accomplishments, especially in the fields of engineering, law, and government. For Romans, the government had an obligation to protect its citizens not only from outside aggression, such as warring neighbors, but also from inside the civilization, in the form of health laws. According to Bullough and Bullough (1978), Rome was essentially a “Greek cultural colony” (p. 20).
Galen of Pergamum (A.D. 129–199), often known as the greatest Greek physician after Hippocrates, left for Rome after studying medicine in Greece and Egypt and gained great fame as a medical practitioner, lecturer, and experimenter. In his lifetime, medicine evolved into a science; he submitted traditional healing practices to experimentation and was possibly the greatest medical researcher before the 1600s (Bullough & Bullough, 1978). He was considered the last of the great physicians of antiquity (Kalisch & Kalisch, 1986).
The Greek physicians and healers certainly made the most contributions to medicine, but the Romans surpassed the Greeks in promoting the evolution of nursing. Roman armies developed the notion of a mobile war nursing unit because their battles
took them far from home where they could be cared for by wives and family. This portable hospital was a series of tents arranged in corridors; as battles wore on, these tents gave way to buildings that became permanent convalescent camps at the battle sites (Rosen, 1958). Many of these early military hospitals have been excavated by archaeologists along the banks of the Rhine and Danube rivers. They had wards, recreation areas, baths, pharmacies, and even rooms for officers who needed a “rest cure” (Bullough & Bullough, 1978). Coexisting were the Greek dispensary forms of temples, or the iatreia, which started out as a type of physician waiting room. These eventually developed into a primitive type of hospital, places for surgical clients to stay until they could be taken home by their families. Although nurses during the Roman era were usually family members, servants, or slaves, nursing had strengthened its position in medical care and emerged during the Roman era as a separate and distinct specialty. Assignment: Staffing To Improve Patient Satisfaction
The Romans developed massive aqueducts, bathhouses, and sewer systems during this era. At the height of the Roman Empire, Rome provided 40 gallons of water per person per day to its 1 million inhabitants, which is comparable to our rates of consumption today (Rosen, 1958).
Middle Ages Many of the advancements of the Greco-Roman era were reversed during the Middle Ages (A.D. 476–1453) after the decline of the Roman Empire. The Middle Ages, or the medieval era, served as a transition between ancient and modern civilizations. Once again, myth, magic, and religion were explanations and cures for illness and health problems. The medieval world was the result of a fusion of three streams of thought, actions, and ways of life—Greco-Roman, Germanic, and Christian (Donahue, 1985). Nursing was most influenced by Christianity with the beginning of deaconesses, or female servants, doing the work of God by ministering to the needs of others. Deacons in the early Christian churches were apparently available only to care for men, whereas deaconesses cared for the needs of women. The role of deaconesses in the church was considered a forward step in the development of nursing and in the 1800s would strongly influence the young Florence Nightingale. During this era, Roman military hospitals were replaced by civilian ones. In early Christianity, the Diakonia, a kind of combination outpatient and welfare office, was managed by deacons and deaconesses and served as the equivalent of a hospital. Jesus served as the example of charity and compassion for the poor and marginal of society.