Comfort Theory Applied in Critical Care Nursing

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Abstract Comfort is an important concept in nursing practice that must be used as a guide in providing holistic care to improve patient’s health status. In the history of nursing practice, the concept of comfort is vague and is often times linked to end of life situations only. Dr. Katharine Kolcaba, a teacher and a nurse researcher, developed the theory of comfort with the goal of improving the patient’s experience and overall satisfaction as well as to promote higher hospital integrity and better institutional outcomes. This paper informed the reader of the concept of Comfort Theory, its strengths and weaknesses including the barriers and challenges met when using the theory, its application and implication to critical care setting, and its relevance to healthcare professionals and to the health care system. Further on, the plan to implement the theory in critical care nursing was presented. This paper concluded with the discussion about the theory of comfort as an integral factor of excellent nursing practice today. Comfort Theory Applied in Critical Care Nursing “Comfort has been considered a positive, multidimensional, subjective, dynamic experience…and results from the interactions established by the subject with himself, to those surrounding him and to the situations faced in the process of disease and health care” (Freitas, et al, 2012). The purpose of this paper is to share my understanding of the concept of Comfort Theory designed by Dr. Katharine Kolcaba, with its implication and application to critical care nursing. The Comfort Theory was chosen to be analyzed, with goals of seeking relevant information and guidelines on how to successfully implement the theory to improve the comfort level among critically ill patients while performing daily routine care in ICU. Acute life-threatening illnesses represent a crisis situation to the

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