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A Core Value: Humanization of Patients July 20, 2017

Posted by mariemanthey in Manthey Life Mosaic, Professional Practice, Values.
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Many many years ago I was being pressesd to articulate my deepest passion about Nursing.   Specifically,  what did I believe is the fundamental core value of the nursing profession?     After thinking about it deeply, I came up with a deep believe that  our most important role is to facilitate the humanization of patient care,…. which required that we first humanize the experience, practice and focus of nurses.   Nurses cannot humanize patient care unless they are empowered in their role and in practice.  Humanization of health care for patients  means  engagement of patients and their families in decisions about treatment choices, as well as end of life choices.    This ultimate exercise of free will is the pathway to fulfillment as a human….and the restriction of free will is dehumanizing.

I see this goal  becoming closer to reality in many situations, thanks to nursing’s incredible advances, as well as to advances in technology and  many other societal advances.   However,  I think much work is still needed to promote nursing’s role as patient advocates for their greater involvement in decisions.  The culture change we seek is to humanize patient care.   Nurses must support patients ability to accept responsibility for themselves, and to exercise their own  free will about their treatment and their lives, knowledgeable about the options that are available to them.

Empowered nurses are needed to empower their patients.

Whether the setting is an ICU unit, a Neo-Natal unit, or even hospice. Empowered nurses can make sure the patients and their families have all the necessary information to make their own life decisions – about end of life, or about courses of treatment – and that they are empowered to do so.

The change is coming.   Let’s make sure the nursing profession is ready to fully engage in the humanization of health care. The public is more ready than the health care system.

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