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A personal concept of nursing care

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I have developed a concept of nursing care that aims to serve society by contributing to a therapeutic, curative, educative and preventative role in healthcare.

This concept involves aiding individuals in every type of medical difficulty or emergency and providing practical assistance and psychological and emotional support when they are prevented from carrying out any essential task of everyday living through mental or physical illness, handicap, incapacity or injury.
It involves the following important factors:
- Respect for fundamental human rights in the delivery of healthcare and in the participation of investigations and treatment provided to patients in my care, without prejudice, regardless of their psychological and physical condition, their age, gender, race, beliefs or position in society
- Rapid establishment of a helping relationship in order to provide reassurance to a patient and their families, while identifying their individual needs in relation to their pathology, biography, psychological state and in their social and cultural context, in order to establish an adapted and holistic plan of care
- To ensure that the patient remains the central focus of the multidisciplinary team and of the medical establishment in which they have placed their confidence
- The delivery of care with respect for the dignity and individuality of each and every patient while considering the balance between their degree of dependency and their need for personal autonomy
- Respect for their right to accept or refuse care, or in the case of incapacity to make an informed decision, to act in their best interests with the agreement of the multidisciplinary team and, where relevant, the patient's closest family
- The sacrosanct duty of professional confidence, respect for patient confidentiality and protection of their data
- The ability to work independently and also in collaboration with the multidisciplinary team in order to share skills, competencies and professional knowledge with patients as well as their entourage
- The ability to use the professional capabilities of each team member in order to deliver optimal care while acknowledging their limitations and also the restrictions of resources such as budgetary, material and human resources
- Awareness and implementation of local and regional health care policies and laws that govern professional practice
- Respect for the philosophy of care of the healthcare organisation and working within their chosen framework of the nursing process
- Identification of physical and psychological risks at all levels to patients and defence of their rights and their interests, ensuring safe working practices
- Offering patients/clients adequate information appropriate to their level of understanding and language concerning their state of health or their illness, the investigations, prescribed curative or palliative treatments, expected outcomes and significant side-effects that may affect the patient
- The provision of an appropriate level support from the relevant area of professional expertise to assist patients/clients in making informed decisions about their care and the organisation of or adjustments to their lives and those concerned such as their family or employer
- Effective teaching to encourage patients and their families, where relevant or desirable, to participate in their care as far as possible and prevent exacerbation or a relapse of their condition
- Accurate verbal communication with other members of the interdisciplinary team and meticulous record keeping
- Participation in continuous professional development and areas of specialisation, maintaining professional curiosity, identification of personal needs relevant to keeping knowledge and technical expertise up to date
- Use of care guidelines provided by the healthcare facility and evaluation of the research literature to propose evidence-based techniques
- Self-motivation and encouraging an atmosphere of collegiality where the multidisciplinary team, students and visiting staff enjoy exchanging ideas and striving for excellence
- Interpretation of and adhesion to the codes of professional conduct relevant to a current work situation established by national and international regulatory nursing organisations.

Gwenda Davies

A version of this article has appeared in the journal Krankenpfl Soins Infirm. 2003; 96(8):54.

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