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Importance of Psychology in Nursing

Psychology is an applied science which is useful in studying mental functions, behavior and understanding of individuals and groups. Psychology and social psychology is of great importance in nursing. While psychology is the study of individuals, their behavior and their mental processes, social psychology is the study about how individuals’ behavior or mental states can be effected by social situations. In other words, social psychology emphasizes more on how and why individuals behave under the presence of social situations or norms.

Psychology in nursing is important because as a health care professional, a nurse has to interact with sick and ill people on one side and on the other has also to interact with the relatives of the ill people. And most of the time, a nurse has to interact with people coming from all walks of life. Most of all, a nurse has to take care of individuals who are suffering from diseases and this requires a knowledge of psychology to understand the various attitudes and behavior of people. Psychology in nursing helps professional nurses to understand patients much better.

One of the most important assumption in health care is psychology of an individual plays an important role either in the development of or recovery from diseases. For health care to be successful in controlling a disease, it is absolutely necessary to identify not only the disease but also the psychology of the individual as well.

Apart from effective diagnostics, it is also necessary to note that every individual is unique in most respects. The way in which each individual responds to treatment procedure cannot be the same and hence, psychology can help in understanding a situation where an individual has an issue with the treatment as well.

Also, it is the responsibility of the nurses as well as the whole health care institution to develop a positive environment for the patient to heal soon, both physically and mentally. And, that requires an understanding about the patient’s psychology.

Knowing the psychology of a patient is important for several reasons.

  • It helps in understanding the patient better. This can be usually take place with good communication with the patient.
  • Understanding a patient will help in knowing how each patient can react in several situations including pain, illness and distress. A knowledge of the situation can help in giving the right therapy.
  • Patient’s psychology can also help in deciphering the lifestyle which include eating habits, smoking, drinking, exercise, etc.

With all the above factors, psychology plays a vital role in today’s health care system, particularly in nursing.

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