Nurses week May 6th to 12th
By Brighton Chireka
Nurses week started on the 6th May and will end on the 12th. I saw it fit to write something about nurses. Nurses are the frontline of all health systems world over. They are often not appreciated by both their employers and patients . Employers do not focus on whether patients received good carer , they just want to know if patients perceived they received good care . When it comes to safety , it is hoped that no patients are harmed. No one bothers to look at harm caused to the nurse who has barely drank anything , ate or went to the bathroom and was lifting patients.
Growing up in Musana rural area, Bindura Zimbabwe, I was attended to by nurses only for my medical problems. It may come to some as surprise that my first encounter with a medical doctor was when I was a medical student at the University of Zimbabwe. It is an open secret that all rural clinics are run by nurses in Zimbabwe. This means that SRBs ( Strong Rural Background ) like myself owe nurses a lot. This article is my little thank you to the profession that is not given the proper respect it deserves.
Talking to my nurse friends during this nurses week , they want a patient load that does not bring them to tears by the end of their shift. They want to go home knowing they did their best for the patients because they had the time and support to do so. They want to know that they are valued , respected and are worth more than a box of chocolates or sweets.
Nurses week !
Join me as we stand up and fight for the Nurse’s Profession, our patients and the future of health care. Health systems worldwide are understaffed, underfunded and overstretched but we have nurses who are dedicated and continue to do their work.
They work in a culture of compassionate care which is based on the 6Cs of nursing .
6Cs of Nursing
The 6Cs – care, compassion, courage, communication, commitment and competence – are a central plank of Compassion in Practice, which was drawn up by NHS England chief nursing officer Jane Cummings and launched in December 2012.
Patients are treated well in a respectful non judgemental way. They confidentiality , dignity and beliefs should be considered first . Patients should feel that they can trust their nurse to deliver high quality care.
When patients get care from health professionals especially nurses they look at how that care is given. It involves emotions more than just empathy, respect or dignity. I like the origin of the word compassion. It comes from Latin and its means “co-suffering”. Compassion looks at how care is given and it’s an intelligent kindness . Patients will always remember what nurses have done for them , how they made them feel and how they treat them or their family members.
The public tend to forget that nurses are professionals who have expertise , clinical and technical knowledge to deliver effective care and evidence based treatment. They keep updating their knowledge and skills to up to date with latest practices. Nurses know the limits of their practice and only undertake work in which they feel competent and confident.
Communication is central to successful caring relationship and to effective team working. Nurses must be good listeners and patients must be at heart of decision making . No decision about patients without patients and message must be conveyed with sensitivity and compassion.
Nurses work in health systems that are VUCA ( Volatile, uncertainty, complex and ambiguous) so they need courage to do the right thing for the people they care for, to speak up when they have concerns. We must remember that nurses are accountable for their actions as a nurse practitioner or midwife and they have a duty of care to their patients.
Nurses are committed to these 6Cs in delivery a quality health care to the patients. Nurses build on this commitment to improve the care and experience of patients. The public look to nurses as an example even in their private lives. This means that nurses have to look after their own health and maintaining a code of conduct in their social lives in order to be that role model.
We have all been cared for or encountered nurses in our lives and we have seen these 6Cs in action. I invite you to appreciate the nurses this week in recognition of the work they do. Some of them are not being paid well, some have not received salaries for several months, some are overworked, some are frustrated, some do not feel valued or respected but in majority of cases they still smile and go an extra mile to care for the patients. This is amazing and deserve appreciation from all over.
Thank you Nurses for looking after us . We value and respect you . Have a blessed nurses week as we celebrate your work.
This article was compiled by Dr Brighton Chireka, who is a GP and a Health Commissioner in South Kent Coast in the United Kingdom. You can contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org and can read more of his work on his blog DR CHIREKA’S BLOG