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  • Patient care is the work of ensuring the physical and mental well-being of patients during the treatment and management of illness by healthcare professionals. While it might sound like all healthcare falls under this definition, patient care training develops a slightly different skill set than doctors or other healthcare providers. It requires more emphasis on empathy and emotional skills alongside medical know-how to ease the suffering of individuals while long-term treatment is administered.

    An article from the American Medical Association puts it well: effective patient care means going beyond asking “what’s the matter?” to ask instead “what matters to you?” A patient care professional creates a dialogue around that question and collaboratively designs personalized care plans that address each patient’s specific needs.

    Providing patient care that reflects individual patient needs and values can enhance the effectiveness of overall healthcare provision, as it helps patients feel respected and thus more engaged with their treatment. And, by reducing the stress that can often accompany ongoing stays in hospitals or other institutional settings, patient care technicians and other professionals in this field play a critical role in facilitating the healing work of doctors and patients alike under challenging circumstances.

    Patient care is particularly important for people suffering from chronic diseases, terminal illnesses like cancer, or similar long-term conditions. Personalized patient care can help significantly improve the quality of life for people suffering from these conditions. It is also important for elderly persons who are not suffering from specific illnesses but require help to take care of their daily needs, and may lack nearby family members capable of providing assistance as well as human connection.