Importance Of Competence In Nursing

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In 2012, the Department of Health introduced the concept of Compassionate care to nursing (Department of health 2012). This concept includes the 6C’s of nursing: care, compassion, competence, communication, commitment and courage (National Health Services England 2012). This assignment will focus on the importance of competence in nursing. Competence in nursing, from a professional perspective, is having the knowledge and skills to carry out a job and being capable of delivering high quality care based on evidence and research (NHS commissioning board, 2012). Competence in nursing, from a patient’s perspective, is being caring, a companion throughout the treatment and being trustworthy (Halldorsdottir and Hamrin 1997). These too definitions …show more content…
From the patient’s perspective, the way a nurse behaves is their only indicator for competence. From the professions perspective, emotional and technical ability play a big part in competence. Demonstrating competence is done on a sliding scale (Takase and Teraoka 2011). On one end of the spectrum are nurses who are able to carry out a physical task competently, this is a task centred approach, on the other end of the spectrum are the nurses who have an excellent bed side manner, this is a social centred approach (McCabe 2004). In the middle of the spectrum is the balance that competent nurses should aim for, the patient centred approach (McCabe 2004). This concept is plausible in the real world. An example of this: A nurse is administering an injection to a patient, the task centred nurse carries out the task perfectly, but has no interaction with the patient, and this leaves the patient feeling uneasy and isolated. The nurse is professionally competent at the task, but won’t feel competent to the patient. The nurse with the social centred approach talks to the patient, reassuring them, but then doesn’t administer the injection correctly, causing distrust from the patient. The nurse may come across as competent until the task is incorrectly performed. The nurse with the patient centred approach has the clinical skill and competence to administer the injection, as well …show more content…
A powerful quote from a patient that demonstrates this is ‘I’m not sure how to put it other than ‘personal relationship’; the sense is somehow that your and my spirits have met in the experience, and the whole idea that there is somebody in that hospital who is with me, rather than working on me.’ (Halldorsdottir 2008 pg 1). Patients feel more secure when included in their care plan, this could be discussing the choices and helping patients’ make informed decisions, or teaching them how to self-care. Pereira (2014) found with colorectal cancer survivors, teaching patients’ to self-care empowered the patients and freed up nursing time to spend more time with the patient. This results in a better therapeutic relationship between the nurse and patient because the nurse had time for the little things that patients’ remember. A therapeutic relationship means that the patient and the nurse trust each other and are working together to bring the patient back to full health. Halldorsdottir (2008) noted that patients often feel vulnerable and in need of reassurance when they are unwell. Having a good therapeutic relationship can lead to a trusting relationship between the nurse and the patient and a positive experience for the patient (Halldorsdottir 2008).

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