Free Custom «Rules for Nurses» Essay Sample
Ever since the profession of nursing emerged, nurses have been expected to follow a set of professional rules and principles. Naturally, these rules and principles have evolved over time, with the most essential among them retaining their validity and less important receding into the profession’s history. Indeed, as early as just one century ago, the duties of nurses included a great deal of “elbow grease”, as nurses had to clean wards and even chimneys in hospitals and to accomplish other similar tasks (Grounsell 2015). In what would be unheard of by modern standards, nurses were allowed only one evening off for the purposes of courtship or two evenings off if they attended church (Grounsell 2015). Today, there are different rules and underlying working principles for nurses. These rules and principles are related more to nurses’ demonstration of professional skills.
From the standpoint of this paper’s author, the first essential rule would be for nurses to remain honest with their patients. It may sound ingenuous, but the nursing profession is demanding and beset with everyday challenges. Therefore, nurses must be committed to the idea of delivering effective care to their patients at all times. Nursing is not a kind of profession that tolerates excuses. Hence, without seeking excuses for not delivering care to their patients, nurses must persevere in the face of all circumstances to deliver the best care possible to their patients. This rule is in line with academic literature, as commitment and determination are among the most commonly cited principles for nurses (Kearney-Nunnery 2015).
The second rule is for nurses to remain positive. At first sight, it seems to be an easy task. Yet, because hospitals, nursing homes and other similar environments often involve not only care but also pain and suffering, nurses may easily lose their composure and/or succumb to sullen disposition. Likewise, nurses can experience problems in their private lives and come to work in a sulky mood. Ultimately, despondency and loss of optimism in one’s professional approach is inimical to the delivery of quality care to patients. Hence, it is imperative that nurses should learn to stifle their negative emotions and remain positive for the sake of delivering high quality care to their patients.
The third important rule for nurses is to estimate their abilities soberly and never take extra shifts when tired. The nursing profession is not as tiresome as it was a century ago, but it still has the potential to exhaust. It is certainly not as easy as it may seem to outsiders. Hence, when a nurse feels that he/she cannot deliver appropriate care to the patients, he/she should either seek assistance of the peers or cancel the shift in a timely manner. It should be done not only for the sake of patients, but also for the nurse’s own sake (Kearney-Nunnery 2015). Indeed, taking extra shifts to earn more money or for some dubious achievements is not a good justification for jeopardizing one’s own health and that of patients.
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The fourth rule for nurses is to maintain a healthy life-work balance. In the 19th century, only those nurses who were in “good blood” with the director of nurses were allowed to take one evening off every week to go on a date with their partners (Grounsell 2015). Likewise, if nurses drank alcoholic beverages, smoked cigarettes or even visited hairdressers, they risked antagonizing the director of nurses (Grounsell 2015). Today, any interference in nurses’ private life is unquestionable. Apparently, it does not mean that nurses should use their discretionary time for substance abuse. However, they should certainly have latitude in planning their leisure to maintain a healthy life-work balance.
Finally, the fifth rule for nurses, which leaves room for continuous learning and improvement, is admitting their deficiencies, if any, and seek advice. Those nurses who consider nursing as their true vocation are willing to admit not only their fortes but also their weak sides. Yet, such nurses are willing to ask questions and learn new things to be able to provide quality care to their patients. Hence, the recommendation that nurses strive for constant improvement should be one of the guiding rules for this profession.
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