Holism or Knowing the patient as an individual
Holistic care is described as a behavior that recognizes a person as a whole and acknowledges the interdependence among one’s biological, social, psychological, and spiritual aspects. Holistic care includes a wide range of approaches, including medication, education, communication, self-help, and complementary treatment.
Providers of holistic care consider a patient as a whole within his/her environment and realize that a patient is made up of a body, mind, and spirit. Respecting the patient’s role in the treatment process, having him/her take part in the process and encouraging self-care is another aspect of holistic care which leads to therapeutic consultation, hope, dignity, self-discipline, social growth, a sense of autonomy, vigor, and vitality.
For people using healthcare services, to be treated as an individual is an essential component of their whole experience and in retaining their dignity during a stressful period. Each patient experiences healthcare in a unique and individual way.
Some of these feelings originate ‘outside’ of the health care system but are brought with the patient into it. Other experiences may be affected by attitudes and expectations of health professionals.
Holistic care is a comprehensive model of caring which is believed to be the heart of the science.