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Student nurses' perceptions of dignity in the care of older people

Macaden, Leah and G. Kyle, Richard and Medford, Wayne and Blundell, Julie and Munoz, Sarah-Anne and Webster, Elaine (2017) Student nurses' perceptions of dignity in the care of older people. British Journal of Nursing, 26 (5). pp. 274-280. ISSN 0966-0461

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Respect for human dignity lies at the heart of nursing. Commitments to maintain dignity in care feature prominently in the codes of nursing practice of professional regulators around the world (The International Council of Nurses, 2012). For example, the Code of Ethics of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) – the professional regulator in the United Kingdom (UK) – states that a nurse must “ treat people as individuals and uphold their dignity” (Nursing and Midwifery Council 2015) . In their day - to - day practice nurses recognise that maintaining dignity is essential to form those therapeutic relationships with indiv iduals experiencing injury or illness that are most conducive to individuals’ healing (Clucas, Chapman 2014) . Moreover, nurses – almost intuitively – understand that the daily outworking of dignity is in treat ing people with kindness, respect and compassion, with effective delivery of the fundamentals of care, all the while recognising diversity and an individual’s choices and, ultimately, upholding their human rights (The International Council of Nurses, 2012).