One of the patient characteristics in the AACN Synergy Model is vulnerability. Vulnerability is defined in the model as the susceptibility to actual or potential stressors that may adversely affect patients’ outcomes. The risk of vulnerability increases in older patients in critical care units.
Older adults with hearing loss who receive care in the noisy environment of a critical care unit can be disadvantaged in their ability to understand speech, thus limiting their participation in decision making. Providing optimal outcomes for such patients can be understood through use of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Synergy Model. When older adults are admitted to a critical care unit, their spouses, children, and friends are in positions to participate in the patients’ care. The AACN Synergy Model patient characteristic of participation in care is useful in enhancing optimal outcomes for older patients.
Provision of optimal outcomes for older adults can be understood through the use of the American Association for Critical-Care Nurses Synergy Model. These outcomes can be enhanced if strategies are designed to improve the characteristics of patients and families as described in the Synergy Model. When older adults are admitted to critical care units, spouses, children, and friends are in a position to participate in care. This column examines the Synergy Model’s patient characteristic of participation in care relative to involvement of the family and significant others of the older patient as a method of enhancing optimal outcomes.