Why nurses should understand a patient’s psychological behavior before treatment

Why nurses should understand a patient’s psychological behavior before treatment


Nursing entails the combination of various skills with a consistent degree of quality patient care. To achieve this, nurses may merge different practices from other professions like psychology. Many programs in nursing school include psychology classes.

The purpose is to impart the necessary psychology training to help the caregivers to provide better care. Furthermore, psychology allows them to discover mental health problems the patient may have. Nevertheless, why is it vital for nurses to understand a patient’s psychological behavior before treatment?

Nurses take care of people with different ailments and interact with some from unique backgrounds. In most cases, they come across patients who may be experiencing an array of emotions. Unless a caregiver can better understand the emotions, it will be challenging for them to offer the best care.

Understanding a patient’s psychological behavior is crucial because caregivers can determine how to handle depressed or angry patients. Other reasons why this is important include:

  1. To formulate an effective treatment plan

A nurse may come across a patient who has a diagnosis of a disorder like schizophrenia or depression. By understanding their psychological behavior, this will help a caregiver to assess the patient accurately.

Also, it will help the professional to formulate an effective treatment plan, offer counseling, and prepare to intervene in case of a crisis.

  1. To understand their emotional reactions

Because of the relationship between the body and mind, a nurse must consider the emotional needs of patients. An illness can generate feelings of vulnerability. Those unwell can also feel frustrated, resentful, disappointed, or angry. Thus, caregivers should understand the emotional reactions of their patients to address their physical health issues better.

That can also help them to determine whether it would be ideal for adjusting their treatment plan so that they can accommodate those emotions.

  1. To offer emotional support

Nurses who understand the psychological behavior of the patients are in a position of offering emotional support. When patients know somebody is there for them, it can create a level of trust between them and the caregiver.

Having the trust of patients increases the likelihood that they will communicate openly and freely about the symptoms they are experiencing.

  1. To decipher lifestyle

Understanding a patient’s psychology can help a nurse to decipher their lifestyle. This can include things like smoking, eating habits, exercises, drinking, among others. After deciphering them, a caregiver will know how their lifestyle is contributing to their poor health. That can also offer a solution for providing the best care or adjusting the treatment plan.

  1. To help nurses stay organized and focused

When nurses understand how to handle patient emotions, it helps them to avoid distractions. A distracted caregiver is more likely to make mistakes when offering care to those unwell. The professional will also remain productive even in a demanding environment.


Nurses should understand how their patients are feeling and thinking about their illnesses. That is because the emotional and mental state of the patient will always impact their health. Thus, treating the physical needs of the patient is only one aspect of the nursing profession. It should also involve taking care of their emotional and mental needs.


I am Dr. Marion Johnson, a Nurse Supervisor, Educator, and A clinician with a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP) and a Master of Science in Nursing Degree (MSN) both from Walden University. I have worked as a nurse in the healthcare industry for over 15 years. Presently, I am doing something I love most, which is being an online instructor. In this position, I believe I can learn, educate, create and implement positive input into the nursing field. Besides work, I am also an avid reader of nursing journals and articles that is why I have a passion for reading, learning and sharing on the trending topics in the nursing arena.

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