As organizations evolve, health care leaders must evolve as well. The synergy model for patient care is one that takes the patient’s needs and matches them with the competencies of the nurse. Most patients have similar needs, but at times, specialized nursing care is needed.
The dimensions of a nurse’s practice are driven by the needs of a patient and family. This requires nurses to be proficient in the multiple dimensions of the nursing continuums. When nurse competencies stem from patient needs and the characteristics of the nurse and patient synergize, optimal patient outcomes can result.
There are various assumptions that guide the synergy model. Assumptions are made that nurses care for the whole patient—body, mind, and soul. Each patient has a number of characteristics or “interrelated dimensions,” as does the nurse. The goal of the nurse is to care for the patient; as the patient wishes, either back to a state of wellness or to a peaceful death. Each patient, nurse, provider, or health care organization is unique and brings with it characteristics that span the health care continuum. There are eight characteristics that make up the synergy model.
Synergy Model Characteristics
|Resiliency||The capacity to return to a restorative level of functioning using compensatory/coping mechanisms; the ability to bounce back quickly after an insult.|
|Vulnerability||Susceptibility to actual or potential stressors that may adversely affect patient outcomes.|
|Stability||The ability to maintain steady-state equilibrium.|
|Complexity||The intricate entanglement of two or more systems (e.g., body, family, therapies).|
|Resource Availability||Extent of resources (e.g., technical, fiscal, personal, psychological, and social) the patient/family/community brings to the situation.|
|Participation in Care||Extent to which patient/family engages in aspects of care.|
|Participation in Decision Making||Extent to which patient/family engages in decision making.|
|Predictability||A characteristic that allows one to expect a certain course of events or course of illness.|
Nurses are an integral part of the health care system and possess the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to provide patient-centered care in any setting, whether it be an acute care hospital or the patient’s home. A nurse’s characteristics in the synergy model are based off of the patient’s needs and the nurse’s expertise, which can range from novice to expert. Under the synergy model, there are five levels of competency from competent to expert in eight different categories.