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To what extent do you consider the humanisation of care in your practice?

  • Comments (7)

Key points

  • Focusing on what it is to be human will help us to reflect on our practice critically
  • The eight dimensions put the individual patient at the centre of care
  • Having a clear value framework helps to ensure the best quality of care
  • This approach helps us to focus on being with other human beings rather than doing tasks
  • This different way of caring is not focused on the professional group but on us as human beings

Let’s discuss

  • How would you define the words humanising and dehumanising?
  • Think about a patient you have nursed recently. What aspects of care would you consider humanising or dehumanising? Explain why.
  • Think about the area you work in. After reading this article how could you use the humanising/dehumanising continuum to explore your patients’ experience of their care?
  • How could you use it to evaluate the way care is organised in your clinical area?
  • Discuss whether task orientated care leads to dehumanisation?
  • Comments (7)

Readers' comments (7)

  • Anonymous

    the only dehumanisation of our care was out of our control. ie. processing patients through a conveyor system from one examination to another regardless of whether was during meal times or not and some of these investigations were more to do with completing their case notes so that doctors could cover their backs rather than considering whether they were really in a patient's best interests.

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  • Anonymous

    "This approach helps us to focus on being with other human beings rather than doing tasks"...i would like to give an opinion of this particular statement.

    As a newly qualified staff nurse working in a community hospital setting i fell under the sad illusion that i would have more time to spend with my patients. How wrong i was! Like any other hospital in the country we are short staffed, i can (begrudgingly) accept that as i am not immune to what is going on in the bigger picture, but what really saddens me is that we are very much a task orientated system where we are so focused on the agenda of auditing and targets that our patients are completely dehumanised, they are to be seen and evidenced, all tasks ticked and signed for and if there is a precious ten minutes to spare during the day...well that can be well spend catching up with the paperwork from the day before that was missed....

    I am hopeful that one day things will change, common sense and a human approach to care will take over and nurses will be allowed to use their highly academic minds and put them to good use, i.e. being able to talk to their patients without thinking in the back of their minds that they have a multitude of tasks to perform before they hand over the reigns to the next person.

    I remain hopeful...

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 2-Oct-2012 11:41 am

    I remain hopeful with you.

    I have seen the 'paperwork' tasks increase to a point where the patient appears to have become a pawn in a game, where they are secondary to the paperwork completion.

    We are inundated under the weight of the paperwork that must be completed at all costs, but surely we are putting the cart before the horse and it is the patient that shold come first.

    I hope this bureaucratic madness can be dealt with once and for all before we reach a point where we don't have time to see the patient because we are filling out the paperwork to see them.

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  • Anonymous

    tinkerbell | 2-Oct-2012 11:15 pm

    It looks as if DC is going to give people their own personal notebook computers to make the paperwork faster (well, based on his £140m and the number of nurses, it looks like about £500 each unless I've screwed up the maths).

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  • Anonymous

    what about theft, damage, loss, forgetting to bring them to work, (dropping them, patients or staff throwing them across the ward, falling into the bath, down the wc or getting coffee spilt all over them if the nurse is lucky enough to have a break, scratches, etc) and freezes, crashes, data loss and abuse of software, etc.?

    lets just employ more nurses instead they are cheaper and more foolproof =:-)

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  • The headline for this article, given the times we are in, might just as well read: "Are patients important anymore?". Is it any surprise, given the pressures we are under, that patients are becoming more like items to be processed rather than people to be cared for? Where Trust Management considers them to be the sacrificial pawns in their economic game of chess?

    I remember my last job where I thought nothing of sitting and chatting to a group of patients for an hour or 2 on a Sunday afternoon, of doing manual BPs on all my patients, of doing little things for them rather than fobbing them off with "sorry I'm busy" (I used to utter those words maybe once or twice a month, now it's 5 or 6 times a day).

    Fast forward 8 years to my current job where a Sunday Afternoon is for cleaning or paperwork, where I only do a manual BP if the machine is struggling or I am teaching a student and where I am so busy that I can't even begin to focus on the patient but merely on the next task to be completed in the hope I can prioritise tasks well enough to allow me time to finish the paperwork during the shift and leave on time.

    I'm afraid patients have become an expensive nuisance and waste too much of our time rather than being the centre of attention. After all, without the patients, we would not have a job!

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  • Anonymous

    telling a patient one is too busy to do something which is relatively important to them, and also important to us as nurses to make us feel we are offering them the best possible service, can make one feel very wretched. but what choice do we sometimes have? One sometimes even has to resist the temptation to say I will get back to you later as very often this is made impossible.

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