The idea of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Synergy Model for Patient Care is that the needs of the patient drive the competencies of the nurse assigned to the patient’s care. When the competencies and characteristics of the nurse match the needs of the patient (physical, psychosocial, and spiritual), synergy occurs and optimal outcomes are achieved. Over the years, the bulk of research has focused on validating and clarifying the 8 characteristics of the nurse, but little has focused on validating the 8 characteristics of the patient.

Byrum et al are among the first to look specifically at patient characteristics. The research team developed a tool, The Admission Discharge Transfer–Synergy Model Patient Acuity Tool (ADT-SMAT), with the goal of describing and quantifying the patient relationship along with the characteristics and complexity of nursing work needed to maintain or achieve stability of...

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