In October, the McLean Hospital Nursing Department hosted Kris McLoughlin, DNP, APRN, FAAN, as the Fall Visiting Scholar. Her daylong presentation, “Integrating Recovery-Oriented Concepts into Nursing Practice,” provided a rich framework of ideas on how McLean’s nurses can more deliberately incorporate recovery-oriented principles in planning care with our patients and families.
The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to meet their full potential.” Elements of the recovery-oriented paradigm are based on hope, respect, and cultural sensitivity. The model is driven by the individual, with support from peers and social networks. Further, recovery occurs via many pathways, and is holistic and trauma-informed.
The recovery model speaks to using “person-first language.” This concept states that the mental health condition is one facet of the individual, not the defining characteristic of the person. No one wants to be known by a medical diagnosis or defined by symptoms. McLean nurses strive to learn about the unique aspects of patients. For example, a patient may be a musician, artist, or student; a father, daughter, or spouse. A patient might enjoy particular hobbies or be engaged in employment that is meaningful.