Answers to end of chapter ‘revise’ questions
Test your knowledge of what you have learned in the book by completing the end of chapter ‘revise’ questions in the book and checking your answers.
1. Write a paragraph about how an understanding of the human body contributes to person-centred practice.
In writing this paragraph you should have considered the interlink between personhood and anatomy and physiology. For example, understanding how people feel and think is regulated by the nervous and endocrine systems. Compassionate care should always be considerate of people’s thoughts and emotions, including their capacity to consent and make informed choices about their care. Understanding how these two systems work is therefore central to those processes.
Another example would be in considering the skin. Damage to the skin may affect a person’s self-esteem which may then influence how they interact with people in society. For example, someone with a venous leg ulcer may feel embarrassed and self-conscious about it, feeling unattractive and worried about odour from it. They may decide to avoid social situations, and remain at home more. This can lower their mood and health-related quality of life. Being able to understand how skin heals can assist the nurse in caring for the wound effectively, which can prevent such a situation or help to resolve it.
2. Briefly describe what is meant by homeostasis.
Homeostasis is regulation of the internal environment in order that a level of consistency is maintained. This is necessary for the cells and organs of the body to operate optimally. Positive and negative feedback systems are used to achieve this. Each cell in the body has a role in maintaining homeostasis.
There are a number of resources you can access to read about homeostasis in more detail:
3. Explain briefly why understanding homeostasis is an essential aspect of providing person-centred practice.
All care should be underpinned by a knowledge of the factors that influence health. The ability of the body to maintain a stable internal environment is one of those central factors. A person-centred nurse should be able to understand homeostasis in order to evaluate a person’s vital signs, responses to treatment, and to detect when homeostasis is not being achieved. In addition, understanding homeostasis underpins health education and promotion activities. If a nurse is to promote health, they need to be able to place any interventions into context with how the body works. For example, you cannot advise about a healthy diet if you do not understand digestion and the healthy balance of nutrients needed in the body. In doing this you also need to understand the person’s culture, abilities and other social factors that influence their ability to support homeostasis by acquiring the right foods and preparing them in a healthy way.