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#NurChat - 'Jedi’s have the force, nurses have the code'

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Did you miss the latest #NurChat twitter debate about the NMC code? Let us sum it up for you?

Nurses never cease to amaze me - and this NurChat was no exception.

The NMC code is the code by which nurses should live and breathe. It is the cornerstone of nursing and it is from this that all great nursing practice is built. But have you ever really thought about the code and what is in it? The aim of this NurChat was to explore the NMC code of conduct and given the fundamental principles of the code explore if NurChat participants believed that these principles should be in the code. It also set out to look at what participants would like to see added into the code. However, NurChatters had their own idea and the discussion took a somewhat different course.

Some of the fundamental principles of the code were discussed throughout the conversation, including the point in the code that states “you must uphold the reputation of your profession at all times”. NurChat asked if this point was needed? 

@riffraff1985 tweeted “without a doubt it’s the cornerstone of nursing practice” and “yes we are advocates of health and advocates to our patients also representatives of NMC and our employers”

@MooseWild stated “That bit is vital to be honest. We are in a privileged position - and with that comes responsibility”

@EileenShepherd tweeted “Yes we need guiding principles to work as a professional group”

However the onus of the chat revolved around the implementation and use of the code and participants asked if nurses really knew the code and asked about the role of nurse leaders in monitoring and enforcing the code.

@nursemaiden tweeted “I worry that nurse leaders aren’t developed and supported well enough into role”

@dgfoord asked “so whose responsibility is it for individual nurses to be aware of the code and their responsibilities?” Opinions on this varied:

@nursemaiden stated ”I would be looking for leadership and direction from director of nursing to empower other nurse leads” and “I see the code as an individual responsibility which could be used to challenge organisations if unable to fulfil”

@MooseWild tweeted “the code places the onus on the individual nurse, but nurses work within a system which may not pay regard to the code”

@MooseWild went on to add “it’s individual responsibility - but needing resources to make it possible - either time or equipment”

NurChat asked if leadership was a key theme that should go into the code?

@dgfoord tweeted “Yes, nurses lead @ all levels and the code and training should reflect this”

@Ramck001 added “Not just leadership, but a united team effort is needed to present an even front of good practice in line with the code”

The discussion alsoexplored the code as a punitive document with @EileenShepherd tweeting “problem is the code is seen as a punitive document to be used when something goes wrong rather than informing best practice”

@Ramck001 stated “there is too much emphasis on ‘it’s in the code, we should do it.’ It should be ‘I do this, so it should go in the code’”

NurChatparticipants went on to explore how nurses could understand the code better.

@EileenShepherd tweeted “Perhaps the code could include examples of how it helps you to provide care”

@nursemaiden added “I’m all for using patient stories as a means of improving care, verypowerful when feedback to teams”

@EileenShepherd responded by tweeting “patient stories are vital but also need to listen to nurse stories”

This NurChat was full of ideas and comments and to understand it better you can read the full transcript on the NurChat Blog. However, what I will take away from this chat is the idea that whatever is in the code and however it is worded is nothing without the dissemination, implementation and practical use; this is the vitally important part.

@nursiedeb tweeted “Jedi’s have the force, nurses have the code” and I believe she is right. Every nurse should understand and take responsibility for the code and what is expected of them as a modern professional nurse. The code should run through our very core as nurses. It is something we should own and be proud of and strive to disseminate through our organisations and our practice.

Teresa Chinn heads up NurChat for Newcross Healthcare Solutions - Nurchat is a fortnightly twitter chat for nurses exploring different topicsthat vary enormously.Anyone can suggest a NurChat discussion subject simply by tweeting @NurChat or by visiting the NurChat blog.

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