Can and Should Nurses Be Aware of Patients' Expectations for Their Nursing Care?
Donna L. Reck, PhD, RN, NE-BC
Patients’ expectations for their care have long been identified as a critical factor in patient satisfaction that has become a decisive element in hospital reimbursement. But the standard definition of expectations as the level of care patients imagine they would receive in the ideal hospital setting may be off the mark. Most patients do not enter the ideal hospital, so we need to focus on patients’ expectations of their real nurses in the actual hospital they are entering. Nurses who are aware of patients’ expectations of them may have a distinct advantage in influencing patients’ expectations and thus positively affect patients’ level of satisfaction with their nursing care. The author discusses what changes may need to occur to shift our focus toward the advantages of nurses becoming aware of patients expectations and reports on her initial efforts to study nurses’ awareness of patients’ expectations of them. Key words: nurses’ awareness, patients’ expectations, patient satisfaction, satisfaction with nursing care