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Patient Dignity and Effects

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Patient Dignity and Effects

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Running head: PATIENTS’ DIGNITY AND THE EFFECTS OF NURSING CARE

Patients’ Dignity and the Effects of Nursing Care

Patients’ Dignity and the Effects of Nursing Care
Introduction
Modern healthcare is moving toward a patient-centered care, emphasizing patients’ autonomy, and participation in decision making about treatment. Despite these expectations, patients feel vulnerable not only due to disease process, but also due to the power exerted by the hospital system. Critical care settings often consider patient’s physical needs as the only aspect requiring care. The fast-paced focus and limited time in emergency department make it difficult to attend to the holistic needs of the patient. Physical barriers of the equipment connected to the patient hinder the humanistic view of the patient and the necessary communication for ensuring dignified interactions. The dignity of patients is a major concern in healthcare, and every human being has the right to be treated with respect and dignity. More appreciation and better understanding of dignity is needed among nurses to improve the quality of care. According to Neno (2006), nurses need to continuously improve their skills and competencies to ensure that people are treated with dignity. Patients present to the hospital already vulnerable due to illness, and place their lives in the hands of healthcare professionals. On top of compromised health, hospitalization often creates feelings of loss of control, helplessness, loss of worth, and loss of autonomy. Nurses need to provide quality care, maintaining patients’ dignity, and promoting autonomy and self-worth by showing understanding and respect. Often, patients present confused or unresponsive, not comprehending the world around them. It would seem that such person does not have any dignity. Dignity has to be maintained in the care provided regardless of patient’s knowing or understanding of the place and moment in time....