Nurses and Empowerment: Empowering and being Empowered
One of the many issues concerning the profession of nursing is the concept of empowerment. This concept can be looked at from two different levels in reference to nurses, from the level of nurses empowering the client, and from the level of nurses being empowered by their environment (Lewis & Urmston, 2000). Empowerment in general is best defined by its absence from the situation. An absence of empowerment would mean powerlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, dependency, and feeling a loss of control over ones life situation (Lewis & Urmston, 2000). Empowerment is a positive concept, which focuses on strengths instead of weaknesses, rights instead of needs, and abilities instead of deficiencies (Gibson, 1990). Being a process as well as an outcome, empowerment lets individuals and groups gain mastery and control over their life situations (Gibson, 1990).
Client Empowerment in Nursing
Nurses in the field of client care come across empowerment in the context of nurse and client relationships many times over their career. In these situations it is the job of the nurse to help the client become empowered. As with becoming healthy, clients must empower themselves, as the client has the maximum impact on their life and health (Kuokkanen & Leino-Kipi, 2000). Nurses can only help, by creating a sense of client self-worth, and supporting the process by providing knowledge (empirical, aesthetic, ethical, personal), and skill. (Dam & Nyatanga, 2002).
A nurses goal in a client empowering situation, is the well-being of the client, except in this situation the mindset is not “I must get the patient to regain health”, the mindset is, “I must help the client regain health” with this mindset the nurse enters into a collaborative relationship with the client, where the client plays the part of an equal partner and, an active (receiving/giving... [continues]
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