For this discussion post, I’d like to address the issue of care retention, specifically in HIV care. Modern medicine has advanced HIV care to the point where, if properly managed, viral load can read undetectable on a lab draw, making virus transmission unlikely between sexual and needle sharing partners. Keeping appointments, showing up for lab tests, and adhering to medication regimens such as PrEP or ART, on the other hand, can be difficult for some patients in certain socioeconomic groups.
Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations, in my opinion, is a public health nursing model that would be appropriate to use with this health issue in my practicum setting. Theorist Hildegard Peplau developed a theory that explains the purpose of nursing as assisting others in identifying their perceived difficulties. The nurse and patient collaborate in four stages of an interpersonal relationship in this model: orientation, identification, exploitation, and resolution. “A number of studies have shown that engaging patients in care through brief conversations can improve outcomes” (CDC, 2019). Conversations with out-of-hospital patients should be brief, direct, and nonjudgmental. When a nurse establishes rapport with a patient, trust is established, and the patient wants their healthcare team to be proud of their success in managing their health issue. “Peplau proposed that in order for nurse-patient relationships to be successful, they must go through three stages: (a) orientation, (b) working, and (c) termination” (Hagerty, et al., 2017). This relationship will encourage the patient to remain in care.