Donato Tallo explains why he believes diversity is so important in nursing
“Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.”
The above quote from Ellen DeGeneres is both a beautiful and a very inspirational quote. These are the values I stand for, and ones we should seek to bring into our everyday working lives.
Point one of the Nursing and Midwifery Councils 2015 Code of Conduct states that ‘nurses must treat people with kindness, respect and compassion and uphold their human rights’. To this effect, as individuals who come into contact with people from all walks of life with different backgrounds, nurses and midwives should seek to be ambassadors of traditional values.
Equality and diversity must be central components of any effective NHS organisation and our National Health Service should reflect the diverse and multicultural nature of our modern society today. Diversity in our society is something that should be celebrated. It has the opportunity to bring many different benefits to the shores of the British Isles.
Within the health service a diverse workforce where a culture of traditional values is in existence, and all individual are respected, already has the foundations of an effective patient-focused service that can be built upon and enhanced.
Diversity in a nursing or healthcare team enables a broad range of opinions and talents to be used and shared in a collective manner, which benefits patient care. It can allow for many other benefits to prevail such as a personal understanding and experience of different cultures on the part of some team members towards both collages and patients and service users as well as being able to speak different languages and fully appreciate the needs of individuals from certain cultural and religious backgrounds as well as certain needs or issues that may arise with age or residency.
For diversity to prevail in any workplace or within any community then an inclusive culture must constantly prevail and the differences between individuals must be constantly respected and valued on the part of all individuals co concerned. A diverse group of patients and service users should undoubtably be served by a diverse nursing and healthcare workforce and it is important that respect becomes a key element of any team where the rights of all team members are upheld at all times.
When considering access to healthcare it is important to both respect and be sensitive to the cultural and religious and obligations that patients and service users may have, moreover it is important to that patients and service users have an understanding (where appropriate) that the health service is very stretched and that nursing and healthcare staff are under a great deal of pressure and stress. However in having a diverse nursing and healthcare workforce there are undoubtably more opportunities for certain cultural and social needs of a diverse patient and service user groups as well as those of colleagues to be met and not only met but respected with the rights of all individuals being upheld.
When we talk about equality and diversity we must remember not just to pay lip service to this concept but to fully embody it at all times. Equality must prevail in nursing and those that create barriers to equality or chose not to embody the concept of equality must be constantly challenged and effectively managed as appropriate. If we talk about the concept of equality for a diverse nursing workforce then everyone should have the same opportunities and rights as everyone else and everyone should be respected in an appropriate manner and a manner that they themselves would want to be treated in.