Role of a nurse essay

Topics: Nursing, Ethics, Illness Pages: 4 (1350 words) Published: October 31, 2014
Role of a Nurse Essay

Throughout this essay I seek to analyse the role of a nurse and the attributes and skills required in different contexts, e.g. specialist hospitals, specialist hospital departments, residential homes and the community. I will also explain the difference between the different types of nursing: i.e. adult’s, children’s, mental health and learning disabilities, and midwifery; and will explore the range of ethical and moral dilemmas faced by nurses. Henderson provides a succinct definition: “The role of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well in performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to a peaceful death) that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge and to do this in such a way as to help him gain independence, as rapidly as possible”. (Henderson 1966) The role of the nurse depends on which field the nurse operates in. However all nurses have a common role to improve the quality of health and wellbeing for the patient, family or community. The nurse’s role can vary dramatically and include being a caregiver, communicator, teacher, advocate, and a counsellor. As a caregiver the nurse will provide personal care which includes hygiene and daily care. As an advocate the nurse’s duty is to protect the patients’ rights, and exercise them and assist them to speak for themselves. An example is a patient who is a vegetarian but receives meat on her dinner tray. There are a number of areas a nurse can work in such as specialist hospitals and the community that require different skills and attributes. In a specialist hospital, nurses care for patients suffering from long term conditions and diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, chronic heart failure and dementia. Specialist nurses require skills such as empathy in order to be sympathetic to these life changing illnesses. Another skill is good communication as they need to explain to patients about their...
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