Nurses Role and Individualised Patient Care

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The Author will describe the nurses role and discuss individualised patient care based around legal and ethical frameworks that guide and govern nurses in their roles as healthcare professionals. A five stage process to nursing care is one framework use to deliver this care and consists of assessment, diagnosis, care planning, implementation and evaluation and is an on-going, continuous cycle that only ends when goals are achieved and homeostasis is restored, or reasonable expectations of health for individuals are met.

There are many definitions on the role of the professional nurse and one put forward by the RCN (2002) states that Nursing is the use of clinical judgement and the provision of care to enable people to promote, improve,
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Care planning is seen as a decision making process creating a record of specific care for the individual. It involves the whole nursing team and other professionals like physiotherapists, dieticians, social workers, key workers and community nurses (Kopp, 1996) Nurses have the closest contact with patients and are essentially seen as the binding agents bringing all aspect of care together.
A care plan is a legal record of continuous care the patient requires, receives and condition of the patient.

It is in essence a written prescription for care following assessment and diagnosis, which may be implemented by other professionals. The planning process involves setting goals for the patient to achieve, with the assistance of the nurse where goals are expectations, in this instance for the patient to achieve to recover health. These must be realistic, measurable, observable and achievable within a limited time scale, with an expected written outcome that is short and explicit. A patient for example may have had a hip operation, so one goal identified and written in their care plan would be to walk a short distance, by themselves, by day three. It would be unrealistic to expect them to walk up a flight of stairs, within this time, if the patients expected stay for this operation was only one week (Hogston & Simpson,
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