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Health coaching: the role of the practice nurse

02 February 2021
7 min read
Volume 32 · Issue 2

Abstract

Health coaching can be used to improve the health of patients. Catherine Best looks at the theory behind health coaching and how the nurse can play a role

Health coaching is a concept which focuses on evidence-based clinical interventions, such as motivational interviewing, goal setting, active listening and change management theory, with the aim that patients are supported to self-manage their own health. Health coaching is patient-centred and empowers individuals to make healthcare choices based on what personally matters to them. The practice nurse is in a strong position to utilise their skills, many of which can be attributed to the role of a health coach.

Coaching, in recent decades, has gained considerable impetus, as a highly motivating, self-directed, goal-centred approach to achieving personal success (Arnold, 2016). Through coaching, people are empowered to uncover their own solutions; foster their own skills, and change firmly held attitudes and behaviours; the aim of which ‘is to close the gap’ between one's potential and present state (Rogers, 2016).

‘is a conversation, or series of conversations, that one person has with another’.

(Starr, 2016)

The emphasis being on the coachee to take personal responsibility for creating sustainable change (Whitmore, 2017). Furthermore, coaching is considered a journey; one through which people are able to unlock their potential and maximise their own performance (Whitmore, 2017).

With the coach being:

‘a sounding board, a facilitator, an awareness raiser and a supporter’.

(Whitmore, 2017)

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