Using the Word “Patient” Instead of “Client” in Referring to Nursing Care

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 2
Words: 281
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: Bachelor

It was important to return to using the word “patient” while meaning recipients of care and medical services in contrast to using the word “client.” One should state that it is possible to agree with the change observed in the wording used in the ANA Code of Ethics. The reason is that the word “patient” accentuates the fact that an individual requires the assistance of healthcare providers, and he or she can suffer from some disease or condition (Butts & Rich, 2016). As a result, certain actions need to be taken in order to relieve a patient’s suffering or provide the required treatment (Pozgar, 2016). The usage of the word “patient” is associated with its historical linguistic roots and specific connotation. From this perspective, a patient is a person who suffers from a particular disease and requires care.

In the recent past, the word “client” was used to speak about patients in healthcare settings. However, it is important to state that the word is more appropriate for organizations other than healthcare ones. Still, the use of the word “client” can be appropriate for insurance companies as actors of the healthcare system. Nevertheless, this word does not reflect the needs and concerns with which individuals come to hospitals. As a result, it is possible to agree that the word “patient” is more effective to describe the recipients of care depending on their demand for medical services (Butts & Rich, 2016). Therefore, the usage of new terminology in the ANA Code of Ethics oriented toward nurses seems to be a reasonable change that needs to be supported. Nurses should concentrate on providing high-quality care to their patients to contribute to their quick recovery.


Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2016). Nursing ethics: Across the curriculum and into practice (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning

Pozgar, G. D. (2016). Legal and ethical issues for health professionals (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.