Berridge and Liddle (2010) demonstrate that the definition of nursing according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is “the use of clinical judgement in the provision of care to enable people to improve, maintain, or recover health, to cope with health problems and to achieve the best possible quality of life,whatever their disease or disability, until death.”
A nurse is an individual who understands and respects their patients as individuals and does not judge them regardless of differences in morals or beliefs.
It is essential that the ill and vulnerable feel that a nurse is competent, will listen, support and guide them and keep sensitive, personal information confidential. Nurses have a duty to provide dignified care to patients whilst maintaining their professional behaviour at all times.
Recently stories have dominated headlines when there is evidence of poor care. BBC News (2012) Campaign to show 'skill and compassion' of nurses aims to show the reality of nursing on a daily basis, assisted with a short film. The intention of this film is to reassure the public of the professionalism, dedication and quality of care nurses provide to their patients, regardless of negative coverage occasionally portrayed by the media.
A nurse needs to show empathy to patients by providing comfort, security and efficient delivery of treatment throughout recovery which can be an emotional and sometimes a traumatic experience for both parties.
It is also vital for nurses to adopt excellent communication skills, especially speaking and listening. As Davies (2012,p.69) explains, communication skills are essential for understanding patients and putting them at ease. By using reflective skills, showing interest and asking appropriate questions, the relationship between the nurse and the patient should ultimately strengthen...