Research Summary and Ethical Considerations

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Running Head: PATIENT DIGNITY

The Importance of Maintaining a Patients’ Dignity
Naomi L. Coleman
Grand Canyon University: NRS-433V
November 4, 2012

The Importance of Maintaining a Patients’ Dignity
Dignity is defined as bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation. One of the most important aspects of nursing care is to maintain a patient’s dignity while caring for that patient. This is a very important part of cultivating respect between the healthcare professional and the patient. It allows the patient to maintain their privacy both emotionally and physically. Little things included in a nurse’s care to their patient like knocking on a door before entering or closing the door when a patient is dressing really means a lot to a patient and helps him or her to gain trust in the nurse or other healthcare professional. The article discussed in this report conducted research on an education initiative in the UK which was comprised of visual metaphors. The metaphors allowed for reflection among the staff in this research program and included concepts like indignation represented in research studies previously done. Also included in the metaphors were subjects where patients were ignored, breach of privacy, and patients who had been patronized. . The purpose of this study was to raise the nurse’s awareness of certain behaviors that led to the patient’s dignity being compromised. Maintaining a patient’s dignity is significant to nursing care because it is a nurse’s responsibility to advocate for their patient and this includes respecting their patient. A nurse’s behavior plays an important role in upholding dignity and privacy. The objective of this study was to show how nurses’ behavior affects the outcome of conserving a patient’s dignity. There have been other studies which focused on certain behaviors that compromised a patient’s dignity. These behaviors included: Intrusion, dependence, condescension, dismissal, rudeness, and indifference (Jacobson, 2009). The method used in this study was qualitative. The design of the study was a multiple case study. Included in the study was the direct observation of the physical environment, documentary analysis, and interviews. The research article reports only on the interview data. A total of seven healthcare organizations were used-three home care providers, one mental health care provider, and three hospitals. Participants were chosen as leads at each organization and they identified staff that would be willing to be interviewed. The leads specialized mostly in the care of the elderly, patients with dementia, and patients who suffered from learning disabilities. A total of fifty-one staff was interviewed for this study. The experience of the staff that was based in hospitals ranged from surgical wards, neonatal and maternity units, and intensive therapy units. All of the staff interviewed was in leadership roles as a nurse manager, educator, consultant, or some other type of practitioner. An NHS organization research ethics committee reviewed the research and approved it because it fulfilled the criteria necessary for service evaluation. The dignity campaign gained all required local permissions and each interviewee received information regarding the study and signed a consent form. All information received was kept confidential, anonymous, and remained secure. The interviews conducted on the staff occurred at their place of employment and lasted approximately thirty to sixty minutes. The approach of the questions included a topic guide with questions which then probed for more detailed answers. The topics reviewed in the interview included things like: Campaign challenges, effects on practice, dignity in the organization since the launch of the campaign, and future plans of the organization. The interviewer also asked the participants about the learning resources included in the campaign....
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