Prioritizing Basic Care and Comfort Needs of Clients: A Comprehensive Approach


When providing care to clients, healthcare professionals, especially nurses, must understand and prioritize their basic care and comfort needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs provides a framework for understanding these needs and their hierarchical order. This essay aims to explore the priorities inherent in the basic care and comfort needs of clients, specifically focusing on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. After addressing the need for oxygenation, we will identify the next priority need, discuss how a change in health status would affect meeting that need, and examine the actions that nurses can take to assist clients in addressing these needs.

Next Priority Need: Safety and Security

According to Maslow’s hierarchy, the next priority need after oxygenation is safety and security. This need encompasses physical and psychological safety, protection from harm, and a sense of stability. A change in health status can significantly impact a client’s ability to meet their safety and security needs. For instance, a client with a deteriorating health condition or an increased risk of falls may experience heightened anxiety and fear, affecting their sense of safety (Carroll, 2019). Moreover, prolonged hospitalization or a sudden change in environment can disrupt a client’s established safety measures, further exacerbating their vulnerability.

Actions for Nurse Assistance

To assist clients in meeting their safety and security needs, nurses can take the following actions:

Assessing and Mitigating Risks
Assessing and mitigating risks is a crucial action that nurses should undertake to assist clients in meeting their safety and security needs. This process involves comprehensive risk assessments to identify potential hazards and vulnerabilities in the client’s environment (Moyle et al., 2019). By conducting these assessments, nurses can proactively address potential risks and implement measures to minimize or eliminate them, promoting the client’s safety and security.

One aspect of assessing and mitigating risks is evaluating the physical environment in which the client resides or receives care. Nurses should carefully examine the client’s surroundings, considering factors such as lighting, flooring, furniture arrangement, and equipment accessibility (Moyle et al., 2019). For example, ensuring adequate lighting in hallways and rooms reduces the risk of falls, while proper furniture arrangement can enhance mobility and reduce the likelihood of accidents. By identifying and modifying environmental factors that pose a potential risk, nurses contribute to creating a safer and more secure space for clients.

In addition to the physical environment, nurses should also assess the psychosocial environment to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities. This includes considering factors such as aggression or disruptive behavior from other patients, inadequate staff-to-patient ratios, or inadequate supervision in certain care settings (Moyle et al., 2019). By recognizing these risks, nurses can collaborate with the healthcare team to implement strategies that minimize potential harm to the client. For instance, ensuring adequate staffing levels and implementing appropriate monitoring systems can help prevent incidents and promote a safer environment.

After identifying potential risks, nurses should develop and implement appropriate interventions to mitigate them. These interventions may include implementing fall prevention strategies, such as providing assistive devices or modifying the client’s environment to minimize fall hazards (Moyle et al., 2019). In infection control, interventions may involve promoting proper hand hygiene practices, enforcing isolation precautions when necessary, and educating clients and their families about infection prevention measures. By tailoring interventions to the specific risks identified, nurses can effectively mitigate potential dangers and enhance the client’s safety and security.

Regular evaluation and monitoring of the effectiveness of implemented interventions are essential to ensure ongoing risk management. Nurses should regularly assess the impact of interventions on the client’s safety and security and make adjustments as necessary (Moyle et al., 2019). This includes monitoring for any changes in the client’s condition, reassessing risk factors, and modifying interventions accordingly. By maintaining a continuous feedback loop, nurses can ensure that the client’s safety needs are met consistently throughout their care journey.

Providing Emotional Support
Providing emotional support is a crucial action that nurses can take to assist clients in meeting their safety and security needs. Recognizing the client’s fears and anxieties, nurses can offer empathetic and compassionate care that promotes a sense of security and comfort (Carroll, 2019). This section explores specific actions that nurses can take to provide effective emotional support to clients.

Active Listening and Validation:One important aspect of providing emotional support is engaging in active listening. Nurses should create a safe space for clients to express their concerns, fears, and emotions without judgment. By actively listening and attentively responding, nurses validate the client’s feelings and experiences, demonstrating empathy and understanding (Carroll, 2019). Validating their emotions helps clients feel heard and acknowledged, fostering a sense of safety and security.

Therapeutic Communication Techniques:Nurses can employ various therapeutic communication techniques to provide emotional support. Reflective questioning, for example, allows nurses to explore the client’s thoughts and feelings in a non-threatening manner. By using open-ended questions, nurses encourage clients to express themselves and clarify their concerns. Additionally, paraphrasing and summarizing client’s statements can demonstrate active engagement and promote a deeper understanding of their emotions. These techniques facilitate effective communication, enhance trust, and contribute to a therapeutic nurse-client relationship.

Empathy and Compassion:Demonstrating empathy and compassion is a cornerstone of emotional support. Nurses should try to understand the client’s perspective, putting themselves in their shoes to comprehend their fears and concerns. By conveying empathy through verbal and nonverbal cues, such as a gentle touch, maintaining eye contact, and using a soothing tone of voice, nurses can create a supportive environment that nurtures a sense of safety. Compassionately addressing the client’s emotional needs helps establish trust and fosters a therapeutic alliance.

Crisis Intervention and De-escalation:In situations where clients may experience heightened emotional distress or crisis, nurses should be prepared to provide appropriate interventions. This may involve utilizing crisis management techniques to de-escalate intense emotions and restore a sense of calm and security. By employing de-escalation strategies such as deep breathing exercises, guided relaxation techniques, or offering a safe physical space for emotional release, nurses can support clients in managing their emotional well-being during challenging situations.

Referral and Collaboration:In some cases, emotional support may extend beyond the scope of nursing practice. Recognizing when additional support is needed, nurses can collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as psychologists or counselors, to provide specialized emotional care. By referring clients to appropriate resources and professionals, nurses ensure that the client’s emotional needs are addressed holistically, contributing to their overall sense of safety and security.

Ensuring Privacy and Confidentiality
Ensuring privacy and confidentiality is a critical action that nurses can take to assist clients in meeting their safety and security needs. Respecting the client’s privacy not only protects their dignity but also maintains their confidentiality, which is essential for trust and security in the healthcare setting (Al Mamun et al., 2018). Nurses should implement measures to safeguard confidential information and provide private spaces for personal care and confidential conversations.

Respecting Privacy: Respecting the client’s privacy involves creating an environment where they feel comfortable and protected. Nurses should knock on the door before entering the client’s room, ensure privacy curtains are properly drawn, and maintain discretion when discussing sensitive information. By respecting the client’s privacy, nurses demonstrate their commitment to preserving their dignity and enhancing their sense of safety and security.

Maintaining Confidentiality: Confidentiality is paramount in healthcare settings, as clients must trust that their personal information will be kept secure and private. Nurses should adhere to professional ethical standards and legal obligations regarding the protection of patient information. They should ensure that electronic health records are accessed only by authorized individuals and that physical documents are properly stored and disposed of according to confidentiality protocols. By maintaining confidentiality, nurses contribute to a sense of security and trust within the nurse-client relationship.

Securing Communication: Communication between healthcare providers and clients should also prioritize privacy and confidentiality. Nurses should use secure channels, such as encrypted messaging platforms or designated phone lines, to discuss sensitive information. When engaging in conversations with clients, nurses should speak softly and ensure that conversations cannot be overheard by others. These measures enhance the client’s perception of safety and security, knowing that their personal health information is being handled with utmost care.

Providing Private Spaces: Creating private spaces for personal care and confidential conversations is essential in promoting the safety and security of clients. Nurses should ensure that clients have access to private areas for activities such as dressing, bathing, and discussions about their health condition. By providing dedicated spaces, nurses respect the client’s need for confidentiality and allow them to share sensitive information without fear of being overheard or observed.

Educating Clients: In addition to maintaining privacy and confidentiality, nurses should educate clients about the importance of privacy and their rights regarding the protection of their personal health information. By providing information about privacy policies, explaining how their information is handled, and addressing any concerns or questions the client may have, nurses empower clients to actively participate in protecting their own privacy. This education promotes a sense of control and security, as clients understand the measures in place to safeguard their confidential information.

Facilitating Collaboration and Communication
Facilitating collaboration and communication is a crucial action for nurses in assisting clients to meet their safety and security needs. Effective communication and collaboration ensure that everyone involved in the client’s care is informed and able to contribute to their safety and security (Köbler, 2020). There are several key aspects to consider when facilitating collaboration and communication.

First, nurses should actively collaborate with other healthcare professionals involved in the client’s care. This includes physicians, pharmacists, social workers, and other members of the interdisciplinary team. By sharing pertinent information, discussing the client’s current health status, and coordinating care plans, nurses can ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to meeting the client’s safety and security needs.

Additionally, involving the client’s family members or support system in the collaboration and communication process is essential. Family members often play a significant role in the client’s care and can provide valuable insights and assistance. By keeping the family informed about the client’s condition, involving them in care discussions, and addressing their concerns, nurses foster a sense of collaboration and support that enhances the client’s safety and security.

Clear and effective communication is crucial in facilitating collaboration and ensuring the client’s safety. Nurses should use appropriate communication channels, such as face-to-face discussions, phone calls, or secure electronic communication platforms, to convey essential information accurately and efficiently. By utilizing concise and understandable language, nurses ensure that all parties involved in the client’s care have a clear understanding of the safety measures, interventions, and any changes in the client’s condition.

Furthermore, documentation plays a vital role in communication and collaboration. Accurate and timely documentation of relevant information, assessments, interventions, and communication exchanges helps ensure continuity of care and allows all healthcare professionals involved in the client’s care to have access to essential information. Nurses should adhere to documentation standards and policies to maintain the integrity and privacy of client information.

Educating on Self-Care and Risk Prevention
Educating clients on self-care practices and risk prevention is a fundamental action for nurses in assisting clients to meet their safety and security needs. By providing education on topics such as infection control, medication management, and fall prevention strategies, nurses empower clients to actively participate in their own care (Demeh et al., 2018). This education should be tailored to the client’s specific needs, taking into account their health condition, age, and cultural background to ensure maximum understanding and compliance.

Infection Control: Educating clients on infection control measures is crucial for preventing the spread of infections and ensuring their safety. Nurses can provide guidance on proper hand hygiene techniques, the appropriate use of personal protective equipment, and strategies to maintain a clean and hygienic environment (Demeh et al., 2018). By empowering clients with knowledge about infection prevention, they can take proactive measures to protect themselves and reduce the risk of acquiring infections.

Medication Management: Educating clients on proper medication management is essential to minimize medication errors and adverse drug reactions. Nurses should provide information on medication administration techniques, dosage schedules, and potential side effects (Demeh et al., 2018). Additionally, they can emphasize the importance of medication adherence and the significance of open communication with healthcare providers regarding any concerns or changes in medication regimen.

Fall Prevention: Falls are a significant risk for clients, particularly those with impaired mobility or balance issues. Nurses can educate clients on fall prevention strategies, such as removing environmental hazards, utilizing assistive devices, and engaging in regular physical activity to maintain strength and balance (Demeh et al., 2018). By equipping clients with knowledge and skills to prevent falls, nurses empower them to take proactive steps in ensuring their own safety.

Home Safety: For clients transitioning from a healthcare facility to their home environment, educating them on home safety is crucial. Nurses can provide guidance on potential hazards, such as proper storage of hazardous substances, preventing burns and scalds, and ensuring adequate lighting and safety equipment (Demeh et al., 2018). By educating clients on home safety, nurses contribute to creating a secure and risk-free environment that promotes their overall well-being and prevents accidents or injuries.


In the hierarchy of needs proposed by Maslow, the next priority after oxygenation is safety and security. A change in health status can disrupt a client’s ability to meet these needs, potentially increasing their vulnerability and anxiety. By implementing appropriate actions, nurses can assist clients in addressing their safety and security needs effectively. This involves conducting risk assessments, providing emotional support, ensuring privacy and confidentiality, facilitating collaboration and communication, and educating clients on self-care and risk prevention. By incorporating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs into their practice, nurses can prioritize and address the fundamental care and comfort needs of their clients, ultimately promoting their overall well-being and recovery.


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