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Nurse distress over patient dignity


28 April, 2008  

Some 81% of nurses have left work feeling distressed over not being able to offer patients dignified care, according to a new poll.

Nurses need more time, resources and support from above to ensure each patient is treated with dignity, The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said.

Nurses said they were trying to overcome obstacles to providing good quality care, including pressure on beds, staff shortages, a target-led culture and carrying out non-essential paperwork.

The survey of more than 2,000 nurses found 86% wanted dignity to be made a higher priority in the workplace and more ingrained in their day-to-day jobs.

Almost 65% said they sometimes or never have enough time to ensure patients receive they kind of care they would like to give.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: “Dignity should not be an after thought or an optional extra.

“Each and every patient – whether they are in a hospital, a GP’s surgery, in the community or in a care home – deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Dignity should be integral to nursing care.”

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Royal College of Nursing