Dignity and nursing practice
DOI link for Dignity and nursing practice
Dignity and nursing practice book
Introduction Dignity is a human right and is important to every individual but can become compromised during health care. Being treated with dignity and involved in decision-making is associated with positive outcomes, such as high patient satisfaction (Beach et al. 2005). In a review of the general population surveys of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 41 countries, most participants selected dignity as the second most important domain in care; only ‘promptness of care’ was more highly rated (Valentine et al. 2008). There are continuing concerns, however, that not all patients have dignified care experiences, with particular concerns raised about dignity of older people (House of Lords/House of Commons 2007; Health Service Ombudsman 2011) and people with learning disabilities (Mencap 2012; Care Quality Commission [CQC] 2012). Even though all National Health Service (NHS) staff have a duty to treat people with dignity, nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals and are with patients when they are at their most vulnerable. Therefore, nurses have a major influence on whether patients feel that their dignity is preserved during their care.